Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry: Another Full Moon

Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine Poet Laureate

One of the late Kate Barnes’s most memorable poems derives from the common Maine experience of lying awake on a night lit by the moon and its reflection on snow.

Another Full Moon by Kate Barnes

The house, lit by moonlight
on the snow, glows inside
like a huge jewel, a moonstone
or opal.
            The whole house
shimmers with its freight
of living souls, and the souls
of disembodied memory.
            I lie
inside my warm bed in the cold
brightness, dreaming of those
who can no longer dream
of anyone, who have become
motes of dust
in the air, those universal
            You would imagine,
looking into the next room,
that a lamp was lit,
but I know it is only
the light of the moon
westering, nearly full,
over the snow.
            I am not wanting
or asking anything
impossible; it’s just
that I can’t help
thinking about it.

Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 1994. Reprinted from Where the Deer Were, David R. Godine, 1994, by permission of David R. Godine. 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.