In The House

I am attracted by the dust
and silence of an upper shelf,
the strange air

that causes linoleum
to bulge in the cellar.
I know the walls come to hug

like grizzlies
if you stare at them too long,
and the kitchen knife

wants to be held.
I sense the aromas of sex,
the delicate, stale drift

of arguments and spite
no amount of cleaning will solve.
I know when love goes

it slips through all insulation,
forgets your name,
becomes sky.

—Stephen Dunn


Dunn was born in Forest Hills, NY in 1939, and earned his BA in History from Hofstra University in 1962. He attended the New School 1964 to 1966 and received his Master of Arts in Creative Writing from Syracuse University in 1970. He’s the author of sixteen books, including Different Hours, which won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for poetry.

Stephen Dunn

Since 1974 he has taught at Richard Stockton College of NJ, where he is Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing. He’s also been a Visiting Professor at The University of Washington, NYU, Columbia, and The University of Michigan.

He has read his poetry at The Library of Congress, and at many universities and colleges throughout the country.

In addition to his books, his work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Nation, the New Republic, the New Yorker, The Georgia Review, and the American Poetry Review, to name just a few.


Image by George Tooker
Published in: on January 30, 2010 at 5:33 PM  Leave a Comment  
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