Pavilion for Washing Away Thoughts

Wash away the mockingbird

The western one that doesn’t sing
The repertoire of eastern mimics

Wash away the single point
Fourteen billion years ago
From which it all exploded

Wash away the wondering
What was there before the bang
And was it just the latest?

Wash away the word for bird
Wash away her foot
Washing in the stream that runs

Beside this small thatched hut

Stephen Cushman

Stephen Cushman

Stephen Cushman is Robert C. Taylor Professor of English at the University of Virginia. His most recent book is The Generals’ Civil War: What Their Memoirs Can Teach Us Today (University of North Carolina Press, 2021). Author of several volumes of verse, he is general editor of the fourth edition of the Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics (2012). Cushman has been a fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies, a Fulbright Teaching Fellow in Greece, and Rogers Distinguished Fellow at the Huntington Library.LSU Press will publish his next book of poems, Keep the Feast, in 2022.
Stephen Cushman

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Author: Stephen Cushman

Stephen Cushman is Robert C. Taylor Professor of English at the University of Virginia. His most recent book is The Generals’ Civil War: What Their Memoirs Can Teach Us Today (University of North Carolina Press, 2021). Author of several volumes of verse, he is general editor of the fourth edition of the Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics (2012). Cushman has been a fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies, a Fulbright Teaching Fellow in Greece, and Rogers Distinguished Fellow at the Huntington Library. LSU Press will publish his next book of poems, Keep the Feast, in 2022.