More on poetry from The Atlantic Monthly.
Also by Henri Cole:
Black Camellia (2001)
The Atlantic Monthly | January/February 2003
Hear the author read this poem (in RealAudio)
Landscape With Deer and Figure
by Henri Cole
If you listen, you can hear them chewing
before you see them standing or sitting—
with slim legs and branching antlers—
eating together like children, or the souls
of children, no one animal his own,
as I am my own, watching them watch me,
feeling a fever mount in my forehead,
where all that I am is borne and is effaced
by a herd of deer gathered in the meadow—
like brown ink splashed on rice paper—
abstract, exalted, revealing the eternal harmony,
for only five or six moments, of obligation to family,
manifested with such frightful clarity and beauty
it quells the blur of human feeling.
What do you think? Discuss this article in the Books & Literature conference of Post & Riposte.
Henri Cole's fifth collection of poetry, Middle Earth, will be published in April. He is the poet-in-residence at Smith College.
Copyright © 2003 by The Atlantic Monthly Group. All rights reserved.
The Atlantic Monthly; January/February 2003; Landscape With Deer and Figure; Volume 291, No. 1; 152.