songs to survive the summer – robert hass

here are some chunks from the poem “songs to survive the summer” by robert hass – it’s very long and one day i may get ambitious and put in the whole thing, but for now i just put in the parts that echo in me the most. or if you like these chunks, you could go get the book with this poem in it – “Praise.”

The squalor of mind
is formlessness,
informis,

the Romans said,
it has no form,
a man’s misery, bleached skies,

the war between desire
and dailiness. . .

Should I whisper in her ear,
death is the mother
of beauty? Wooden

nickels, kid? It’s all in
shapliness, give your
fears a shape? . . .

This is what I have
to give you, child, stories,
songs, loquat seeds,

curiously shaped; they
are the frailest stay against
our fears. Death

in the sweetness, in the bitter
and the sour, death
in the salt, your tears,

this summer ripe and overrripe.
It is a taste in the mouth,
child. We are the song

death takes its own time
singing. It calls us
as I call you child

to calm myself. It is every
thing touched casually,
lovers, the images

of saviors, books, the coin
I carried in my pocket
till it shone, it is

all things lustered
by the steady thoughtlessness
of human use.

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One Response to “songs to survive the summer – robert hass”


  1. 1 i never have my camera when i need it « . . . and squares

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