I am the voice that speaks in desert places,
The voice a man hears when he’s most alone,
Among the wilderness, where are no faces,
But sage and thyme; scale, feather, fur, and bone.
I am the voice of everything connected,
And you must tarry here where you most hasten,
I speak to you of all that you’ve neglected,
I am what silence tells you when you listen.
And I’m the voice that trebles in the crowd,
So hectic blood runs gelid as meltwater,
And heart constricts, and strength and youth are cowed,
And men in terror bolt headlong toward slaughter,
Or petrify, limbs heavy and mechanic,
As I shout my name, which soldiers know as Panic.
A. E. Stallings
A.E. Stallings is an American poet who has lived in Greece since 1999. She has published three volumes of translation, most recently a verse translation of Hesiod's Works and Days from Penguin Classics and The Battle Between the Frogs and Mice (Paul Dry Books). She is the author of four books of poems, most recently Like, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, from Farrar, Straus and Giroux. She has received grants and fellowships from the NEA, the Guggenheim, and the MacArthur foundations.
Also by A. E. Stallings (see all)
- Afterglow: An Appreciation of Robert B. Shaw’s What Remains to Be Said - September 22, 2022
- Paying (Homage to) the Ferryman - May 31, 2021
- The Poet on The Road to Sparta - October 23, 2018