First Song

First Song

Then it was dusk in Illinois, the small boy
After an afternoon of carting dung
Hung on the rail fence, a sapped thing
Weary to crying. Dark was growing tall
And he began to hear the pond frogs all
Calling on his ear with what seemed their joy.

Soon their sound was pleasant for a boy
Listening in the smoky dusk and the nightfall
Of Illinois, and from the fields two small
Boys came bearing cornstalk violins
And they rubbed the cornstalk bows with rosins
And the three sat there scraping of their joy.

It was now fine music the frogs and the boys
Did in the towering Illinois twilight make
And into dark in spite of a shoulder's ache
A boy's hunched body loved out of a stalk
The first song of his happiness, and the song woke
His heart to the darkness and into the sadness of joy.


from Selected Poems (Bloodaxe, 2001), copyright © Galway Kinnell 2001, used by permission of the author and Bloodaxe Books Ltd.

Recordings

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1First Song

2The Avenue Bearing the Initial of Christ into the New World

3The Bear

4Lastness: Section 2

5Fergus Falling

6After Making Love We Hear Footsteps

7Wait

8Blackberry Eating

9The Road Between Here and There

10The Olive Wood Fire

11The Fundamental Project of Technology

12Oatmeal

13When One Has Lived A Long Time Alone: parts 1, 7 & 9

14Rapture

15Shelley

16How Could She Not

17The Stone Table

18Insomniac

19It All Comes Back