Back to top

When Ecstasy is Inconvenient

Lorine Niedecker
Feign a great calm;
all gay transport soon ends.
Chant: who knows—
flight’s end or flight’s beginning
for the resting gull?

Heart, be still.
Say there is money but it rusted;
say the time of moon is not right for escape.
It’s the color in the lower sky
too broadly suffused,
or the wind in my tie.

Know amazedly how
often one takes his madness
into his own hands
and keeps it.
Why I chose this poem: 

Lorine Niedecker's poetry was sort of discovered by accident as freshman in college. Her poems feel so familiar and safe - and then she hits you over the head with some twist of words or imagery that sticks.

Lorine Niedecker