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


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).

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.
This entry was posted in Poem of the Week and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s