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from Passing Through: The Later Poems, New and Selected by Stanley Kunitz
(W. W. Norton, 1995)

Touch Me

by Stanley Kunitz

Hear introductory remarks by Stanley Kunitz (in RealAudio format).

Hear Stanley Kunitz read "Touch Me" (in RealAudio format).

(For help, see a note about the audio.)

Also by Stanley Kunitz:
The Quarrel

Go to "A Visionary Poet at Ninety" in the June, 1996, issue of The Atlantic Monthly.

Go to:
An Audible Anthology
Poetry Pages

Summer is late, my heart.
Words plucked out of the air
some forty years ago
when I was wild with love
and torn almost in two
scatter like leaves this night
of whistling wind and rain.
It is my heart that's late,
it is my song that's flown.
Outdoors all afternoon
under a gunmetal sky
staking my garden down,
I kneeled to the crickets trilling
underfoot as if about
to burst from their crusty shells;
and like a child again
marveled to hear so clear
and brave a music pour
from such a small machine.
What makes the engine go?
Desire, desire, desire.
The longing for the dance
stirs in the buried life.
One season only,
and it's done.
So let the battered old willow
thrash against the windowpanes
and the house timbers creak.
Darling, do you remember
the man you married? Touch me,
remind me who I am.

Copyright © 1995 by Stanley Kunitz. All rights reserved. Used by permission. from Passing Through: The Later Poems, New and Selected
(W. W. Norton, 1995)

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