Night in Day by Joseph Stroud

The night never wants to end, to give itself over
to light. So it traps itself in things: obsidian, crows.
Even on summer solstice, the day of light’s great
triumph, where fields of sunflowers guzzle in the sun—
we break open the watermelon and spit out
black seeds, bits of night glistening on the grass


Date: 1998

By: Joseph Stroud (1943- )


7 Comments to “Night in Day by Joseph Stroud”

  1. Beautiful

  2. Good one. Thank you – I was on the point of giving up on contemp poetry..

    • Contemporary poetry is really patchy. I often wonder how much of it will survive. I spend so much time looking for old poetry and I’m always astounded at some seemingly brilliant poets that have faded into obscurity – and how many “bleh” poets are still remembered. I would love to know what makes a poet/poem survive into the future – and what doesn’t.

      • I find that here in what remains of the UK writers have theorised themselves into a corner. Oh well; what’s new.
        As you say, there are still so many unknown lights out there.
        Best wishes.

      • A US friend and poet I am in contact with often mourns about the over-intellectualisism and academicisation of contemporary poetry – it sounds like you agree with him. It feels like the internet has thrown the whole issue into sharp dispute – because you have so many sites devoted to poets without that background (untrained? amateur? – I never know what to call them) and there is such a contrast to the “literary” zines where the poems (and poets) are “spectacular” from a “professional/academic” point of view – and leave the reader cold, unsatisfied and frequently irritated.

      • Ha, yes. I put it down to the fear of the blank page – the theories and language prompts so as not to have face up to that challenge. I did a MA in Writing, and it was like that. The ’embodying’, to do away with the metaphysical, is, after all, just a theory, and temporary. And all so limiting, restricting. The freedom of writing, its open nature, has become a politicised space. Maybe a necessary thing, to clear out a lot of gathered prejudices etc; as long as it is a temporary state.

      • Definitely let’s hope it’s temporary. It would be pretty ugly if a century or so of poetry just didn’t make it into the future because nobody liked it enough to carry it through.

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