Fall 1979 • Vol. I No. 4 Poetry |

Darwin in 1881

Sleepless as Prospero back in his bedroom In Milan, with all his miracles Reduced to sailors' tales, He sits up in the dark. The islands loom. His seasickness upwells, Silence creeps by in memory as it crept By him on water, while the sailors slept, From broken eggs and vacant tortoise shells. His voyage around the cape of middle age Comes, with a feat of insight, to a close, The same way Prospero's Ended before he left the stage To be led home across the blue-white sea, When he had spoken of the clouds and globe, Breaking his wand, and taking off his robe: Knowledge increases unreality. He quickly dresses. Form wavers like his shadow on the stair As he descends, in need of air To cure his dizziness, Down past the shipsunk emptiness Of grownup childrens' rooms and hallways where The family portraits blindly stare, All haunted by each others' likenesses. Outside, the orchard and a piece of moon Are islands, he an island as he walks, Brushing against weed stalks. By hook and

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Gjertrud Schnackenberg has published five collections of poetry, including The Throne of Labdacus, and Supernatural Love: Poems, 1978-1992.

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Sleepless as Prospero back in his bedroom In Milan, with all his miracles Reduced to sailors' tales, He sits up in the dark. The islands loom. His seasickness upwells, Silence […]

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