Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry: From Under Mount Blue

Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine Poet Laureate

Poet Henry Braun lives in a wilderness far from neighbors in the middle of Mount Blue State Park. These two excerpts from his longer poem “Under Mount Blue” describe his life there.

From Under Mount Blue by Henry Braun

Reading Late

Some evenings fragility
lays itself out on roads
from the novel you are reading,
old peculiar enlargements
that keep you wakeful
long after the book closes.
Someone was alive
whom you followed by oil lamp
for hours through the pages
and now, in a quiet house,
everyone breathing must be looked at
and more than looked at,

Firewood Sermon

Sticks of wood are personalities
like dogs and cats, but simpler.
One hisses with the rain
garnered slowly on a woodpile. One
cackles cackles groans
and falls to its side.
Two, brought near strike up an acquaintance
in the burning world.

Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poems copyright © 2006 Henry Braun. Reprinted from Loyalty: New and Selected Poems, Off the Grid Press, 2006, by permission of Henry Braun. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, Special Consultant to the Maine Poet Laureate, at mainepoetlaureate@gmail.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.