Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry: Night

Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine Poet Laureate

Louise Bogan, whose grandfather was a sea captain from Portland, was born in Livermore Falls and returned to the state often. Today?s poem by Bogan, one of her best-known, offers a haunting evocation of the Maine coast.

Night by Louise Bogan

The cold remote islands
And the blue estuaries
Where what breathes, breathes
The restless wind of the inlets,
And what drinks, drinks
The incoming tide;
Where shell and weed
Wait upon the salt wash of the sea,
And the clear nights of stars
Swing their lights westward
To set behind the land;
Where the pulse clinging to the rocks
Renews itself forever;
Where, again on cloudless nights,
The water reflects
The firmament?s partial setting;
?O remember
In your narrowing dark hours
That more things move
Than blood in the heart.

Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 1968 by Louise Bogan. Reprinted from The Blue Estuaries: Poems: 1923-1968, Farrar Straus and Giroux, New York, 1968, by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to David Turner, Special Assistant to the Maine Poet Laureate, at poetlaureate@mainewriters.org or 207-228-8263.