Poetry April 2005

To the Future

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I in completing
     this poem
          hope at least

to outlive the journey
     from a notebook page
          to the freedom of

one fair copy to be handed
     to a friend and then
          to other friends

one of whom may
     see to it that
          these words are

copied or left about so that
     some person who knows nothing of
          me who wrote them

may notice and
     take the poem as a
          delight or disturbance.

May it enlist or
     puzzle readers enough so
          that by undertaking its traffic

they may speak its language to
     multiply its effect
          and by voicing both
          deliver me to you.

Peter Davison (1928—2004) was The Atlantic's poetry editor for thirty years.
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Peter Davison was The Atlantic's longtime poetry editor.

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