Thursday, June 20, 2013

Thom Gunn's "Positives" Poems, 1966

All of Thom Gunn's poems to accompany Ander Gunn's photos of a woman's life - from toddler to crone - are stunning but this is probably the best known. They appear in Positives (1966).
Photo by Ander Gunn


Something approaches, about
which she has heard a good deal.
Her deaf ears have caught it, like a
silence in the wainscot
by her head. Her flesh has felt
a chill in her feet, a draught
in her groin. She has watched it
like moonlight on the frayed wood
stealing toward her
floorboard by floorboard. Will it hurt?

Let it come, it is
the terror of full repose,
and so no terror. 

More about Thom Gunn (1929-2004):

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