Poem of the Week: “Starspill” by John Montague

There are few spectacles more enigmatic and awe-inspiring than the night sky. It can be hard to believe that the shimmering blots sprinkled into the abyss are light-years upon light-years out of our reach. John Montague’s poem “Starspill” captures the mystery of the glimmering cosmos drifting above our earth.

Spitzer Space Telescope, "The Shocking Behavior of a Speedy Star," NASA. Retrieved from spitzer.caltech.edu

Spitzer Space Telescope, “The Shocking Behavior of a Speedy Star,” NASA. Retrieved from http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu

“Starspill”

by John Montague

That secret laughter
which, on bad days,
keeps us buoyant,
awaiting the hidden
glitter of accident.

White waves breaking
beneath Mount Eagle;
a guardian, mist-veiled?
No lift in the sky,
no glow behind it:
a fierce rain spitting
as we reach Brandon
for a lost day’s drinking.

Beyond midnight I push
open the stubborn pub door
to confront a full moon,
and a spill of stars
across a sky opaque
and black as a bog pool:
dice strewn across
a table of velvet.

From Smashing the Piano (2001). WFU press has published ten volumes by Montague, including one of his most recent works, Speech Lessons (2012).

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About wfupress

Wake Forest University Press was founded in 1976 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Exclusively publishing Irish poetry, we are a small academic press and the premier publisher of Irish poetry in North America. We still reside in Winston-Salem as a part of Wake Forest University, and continue to publish culturally-rich literature.
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