The Early Birds

At dawn they start again, the early birds,
as if they’d left some bitter things unsaid
the day before. The sharp notes rise in thirds.
I wake up knowing that I’ll soon be dead,

and that’s no worse than justice, as is just.
The kindest words are almost never meant.
Most fond endearments fill us with disgust.
To lie is sometimes all too eloquent;

but, as I stumble toward that unknown date,
even the lies may be inadequate.

William Logan's most recent book of essays and reviews, The Undiscovered Country, received the 2005 National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism. His most recent book of poetry is The Whispering Gallery (2005).
Presented by

Riding Unicycles in a Cave

"If you fall down and break your leg, there's no way out."

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Riding Unicycles in a Cave

"If you fall down and break your leg, there's no way out."

Video

Carrot: A Pitch-Perfect Satire of Tech

"It's not just a vegetable. It's what a vegetable should be."

Video

An Ingenious 360-Degree Time-Lapse

Watch the world become a cartoonishly small playground

Video

The Benefits of Living Alone on a Mountain

"You really have to love solitary time by yourself."

Video

The Rise of the Cat Tattoo

How a Brooklyn tattoo artist popularized the "cattoo"

More in Entertainment

More back issues, Sept 1995 to present.

Just In