Alan Michael Parker

Wednesday Sonnet (Some of You)

Some of what I know I’ve learned by rote:
My stammer under pressure, the blunderbuss
I make of anger, my business, my distress.

Some of love, some summertime, the bumble of
A bumblebee snagged in the drapes. Some of you.
But the words replace their feelings, so wordlessly

I turn to the light where the light turns in,
The dining room awash in astronomical nostalgia,
The sun a star that was, but isn’t what we see.

You should be here, you should believe:
Some of what I knew of you, I’ve learned of me
(Some of what I want I’ve learned to wish).

Light tinseled through the glass. Imprisoned in
The sheers, the bee buzzes on. Like this.


“Wednesday Sonnet (Some of You)” from elephants and butterflies by Alan Michael Parker, ©2008. Reprinted by permission of  BOA Editions  


Alan Michael Parker is the author of eight collections of poems and four novels, and coeditor of five other volumes. His honors include the North Carolina Book Award, three Pushcart Prizes, two inclusions in Best American Poetry, and the Medwick Award from the Poetry Society of America. Douglas C. Houchens Professor of English at Davidson College, and faculty in the University of Tampa low-residency M.F.A. program, he is trying to slow down.

On why poetry matters: “Attentiveness, the particularities of the eccentric self, the eccentricities of the particular self, history, music, and the discernment to tell the words from one another – these are the demands of poetry that makes it matter. That our humanity has been written in poems, and that we’re still writing poems, documents us, elevates us, and offers solace, spiritual and otherwise.”