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Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry: Brothers
Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine Poet Laureate
Maine’s Robert P. Tristram Coffin was not only a well-known historian during his lifetime but a poet, who won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1935. His poem for today concerns the night moths at his windowpane.
Brothers by Robert P. Tristram Coffin
Now with my lamp I make a little world And sit inside it like a jealous god. The small creatures of the night come to my pane And peer at me and know that I am good, Their eyes fill up with worship and their fear, They think of me somehow as their lost sun And flex their paper wings and make them sing The very minute hymns they make in flight, They beat like small, quick hearts against my glass.
I wish I were the wonder that has lit Their round, cool eyes, or knew some way to tell them That they and I are brothers in the dark.
Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 1948 Robert P. Tristam Coffin. Reprinted from Collected Poems, by permission of June Coffin. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, Special Consultant to the Maine Poet Laureate, at email@example.com or 207-228-8263. Take Heart: Poems from Maine, an anthology collecting the first two years of this column, is now available from Down East Books.