Poem of the Month
The Major Verbs

By Pierre Nepveu

Published on June 1, 2013

The major verbs
beset us in the midst
of a static summer:

to be born, to grow, to love,
to think, to believe, to die,

and while a child
scrapes at the earth
where urns lie buried,
we seek a phrase
that will fix a goal
for tomorrow’s setting out,

− unless we live in the infinitive
like a great wind
out of nowhere,
bearing no leaves,

or like a Buddhist monk
who has thrust back deep in himself
the rationale for the verb to go.

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