Poems by Prof. David Baker featured


Prof. David Baker

Ted Kooser, former U.S. Poet Laureate, has featured two poems, “Swift,” and “Mercy,” by Denison Professor David Baker in Kooser’s “American Life in Poetry” publication.


Small flames afloat in blue duskfall, beneath trees

anonymous and hooded, the solemn trees—by ones

and twos and threes we go down to the water’s level edge

with our candles cupped and melted into little pie-tins

to set our newest loss free. Everyone is here.

Everyone is wholly quiet in the river’s hush and appropriate dark.

The tenuous fires slip from our palms and seem to settle

in the stilling water, but then float, ever so slowly,

in a loose string like a necklace’s pearls spilled,

down the river barely as wide as a dusty road.

No one is singing, and no one leaves—we stand back

beneath the grieving trees on both banks, bowed but watching,

as our tiny boats pass like a long history of moons

reflected, or like notes in an elder’s hymn, or like us,

death after death, around the far, awakening bend.

Posted Date 
Thursday, February 6, 2020

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