Citizen

I am visiting the books, abiding among them awhile,
not bothering them—they are all at peace
On the polished shelves, even The Great War
and Modern Memory. A person can be a burden
To a book, I am mindful of this, especially the kind who reads
fiercely and makes notes in the margins.
I will leave them alone for awhile. I thought I might review
what Plato wrote about the Republic,
Then consult Diderot and Rousseau on the citoyen,
but the stacks are their own nation, a geography
Of consciousness, so many dead minds mapped in high relief
against the silence, my brothers and sisters in their bound
Domain. There are powers among them, but no tyrants.
None of them is unfair or foreign to the others. In this room
I throw away my useless passport. I will be anonymous
in my heavy body, paper-white. Left too long
On a table in the sun, I am coming a little unglued.

T.R. Hummer

T.R. Hummer

T. R. Hummer’s most recent books of poetry are After the Afterlife (Acre Books) and the three linked volumes Ephemeron, Skandalon, and Eon (LSU Press). Former editor in chief of The Kenyon Review, of The New England Review, and of The Georgia Review, he has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship in poetry, a National Endowment for the Arts Individual Artist Grant in Poetry, the Richard Wright Award for Artistic Excellence, the Hanes Poetry Prize, and the Donald Justice Award in Poetry. He lives in Cold Spring, New York.
T.R. Hummer

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Author: T.R. Hummer

T. R. Hummer’s most recent books of poetry are After the Afterlife (Acre Books) and the three linked volumes Ephemeron, Skandalon, and Eon (LSU Press). Former editor in chief of The Kenyon Review, of The New England Review, and of The Georgia Review, he has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship in poetry, a National Endowment for the Arts Individual Artist Grant in Poetry, the Richard Wright Award for Artistic Excellence, the Hanes Poetry Prize, and the Donald Justice Award in Poetry. He lives in Cold Spring, New York.