Friday poem: 'Stargazing'

10 February 2017

By Glyn Maxwell

The night is fine and dry. It falls and spreads
the cold sky with a million opposites
that, for a moment, seem like a million souls
and soon, none, and then, for what seems a long time,
one. Then of course it spins. What is better to do  
than string out over the infinite dead spaces
the ancient beasts and spearmen of the human
mind, and, if not the real ones, new ones?
 
But, try making them clear to one you love –
whoever is standing by you is one you love
when pinioned by the stars – you will find it quite
impossible, but like her more for thinking
she sees that constellation.
 
After the wave of pain, you will turn to her
and, in an instant, change the universe
to a sky you were glad you came outside to see.
 
This is the act of all the descended gods
of every age and creed: to weary of all
that never ends, to take a human hand,
and go back into the house.
 
From The Picador Book of Love Poems, a beautiful anthology of classic and contemporary love poems selected by award-winning poet, John Stammers. 
 
In need of some romantic verse this Valentine's Day? Take a look at our collection of perfect love poems for all occasions
 

 

 

Sign up to the Picador Friday poem email to receive a handpicked poem straight to your inbox each week.