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Best Famous Russell Edson Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Russell Edson poems. This is a select list of the best famous Russell Edson poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Russell Edson poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Russell Edson poems.

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Written by Russell Edson |

The Pilot

 Up in a dirty window in a dark room is a star 
which an old man can see.
He looks at it.
He can see it.
It is the star of the room; an electrical freckle that has fallen out of his head and gotten stuck in the dirt on the window.
He thinks he can steer by that star.
He thinks he can use the back of a chair as a ship's wheel to pilot his room through the night.
He says to himself, brave Captain, are you afraid? Yes, I am afraid; I am not so brave.
Be brave, my Captain.
And all night the old man steers his room through the dark .

Written by Russell Edson |

The Marionettes Of Distant Masters

 A pianist dreams that he's hired by a wrecking company to 
ruin a piano with his fingers .
On the day of the piano wrecking concert, as he's dressing, he notices a butterfly annoying a flower in his window box.
He wonders if the police should be called.
Then he thinks maybe the butterfly is just a marionette being manipulated by its master from the window above.
Suddenly everything is beautiful.
He begins to cry.
Then another butterfly begins to annoy the first butterfly.
He again wonders if he shouldn't call the police.
But, perhaps they are marionette-butterflies? He thinks they are, belonging to rival masters seeing whose butterfly can annoy the other's the most.
And this is happening in his window box.
The Cosmic Plan: Distant Masters manipulating minor Masters who, in turn, are manipulating tiny butterfly-Masters who, in turn, are manipulating him .
A universe webbed with strings! Suddenly it is all so beautiful; the light is strange .
Something about the light! He begins to cry .

Written by Russell Edson |

The Sad Message

 The Captain becomes moody at sea.
He's afraid of water; such bully amounts that prove the seas.
A glass of water is one thing.
A man easily downs it, capturing its menace in his bladder; pissing it away.
A few drops of rain do little harm, save to remind of how grief looks upon the cheek.
One day the water is willing to bear your ship upon its back like a liquid elephant.
The next day the elephant doesn't want you on its back, and says, I have no more willingness to have you there; get off.
At sea this is a sad message.
The Captain sits in his cabin wearing a parachute, listening to what the sea might say.

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Written by Russell Edson |

Counting Sheep

 A scientist has a test tube full of sheep.
He wonders if he should try to shrink a pasture for them.
They are like grains of rice.
He wonders if it is possible to shrink something out of existence.
He wonders if the sheep are aware of their tininess, if they have any sense of scale.
Perhaps they think the test tube is a glass barn .
He wonders what he should do with them; they certainly have less meat and wool than ordinary sheep.
Has he reduced their commercial value? He wonders if they could be used as a substitute for rice, a sort of wolly rice .
He wonders if he shouldn't rub them into a red paste between his fingers.
He wonders if they are breeding, or if any of them have died.
He puts them under a microscope, and falls asleep counting them .

Written by Russell Edson |

The Having To Love Something Else

 There was a man who would marry his mother, and asked his
father for his mother's hand in marriage, and was told he could
not marry his mother's hand because it was attached to all
the rest of mother, which was all married to his father; that
he'd have to love something else .
And so he went into the world to love something else, and fell in love with a dining room.
He asked someone standing there, may I have this dining room's hand in marriage? You may not, its hand is attached to all the rest of it, which has all been promised to me in connubial alliance, said someone standing there.
Just because the dining room lives in your house doesn't necessarily give you claim to its affections .
Yes it does, for a dining room is always to be married to the heir apparent in the line of succession; after father it's my turn; and only if all mankind were destroyed could you succeed any other to the hand of this dining room.
You'll have to love something else .
And so the man who would marry his mother was again in the world looking for something to love that was not already loved .

Written by Russell Edson |

The Theory

 The big one went to sleep as to die and dreamed he
became a tiny one.
So tiny as to have lost all substance.
To have become as theoretical as a point.
Then someone said, get up, big one, you're not doing yourself any good.
You puddle and stagnate in your weight.
Best to be up and toward.
It irrigates you.
What, said the big one, have I not disappeared? Have you not mistaken a cloud for me? Perhaps some local hill fulfills your expectation? No, it's no mistake, it's you; those interconnecting puddles of flesh pulling at your bones, attempting that world-weary fall toward the great waters of the world.
How you manage against gravity is one of the greater triumphs of nature.
Do you think, said the big one, there's a woman who would like to marry me? Yes, had such a woman done everything in the world except marry you, she might think it worthy before dying to complete her catalogue.
Or having done everything, go meekly without decision or care to such a consummation.
Then you really feel, said the big one, that this woman could come to care very deeply for me? All is theoretical.
Who knows enough to say the outcome of any event, save that it was past us, and we saw the back of it moving slowly into the Universe, seeking other settings to repeat the fall of fate.
That sounds wonderful, that a woman like that could be in love with me, said the big one.
But in a few moments the big one was back asleep, dreaming that he had come to such enlargement that he constituted all the matter in the Universe, which must include the earth and the woman he would have loved.

Written by Russell Edson |

Elephant Dormitory

 An elephant went to bed and pulled a crazy quilt up under
its tusks.
But just as the great gray head began filling with the gray wrinkles of sleep it was awakened by the thud of its tail falling out of bed.
Would you get my tail? said the elephant to another elephant also tucked up under a crazy quilt.
I was just in the gray wrinkles of my sleep, sighed the other elephant.
But I can't sleep without my tail, said the first elephant, I like it stuck just above my anus; I feel more secure that way, that it holds my anus from drifting out to heaven.

Written by Russell Edson |

The Melting

 An old woman likes to melt her husband.
She puts him in a melting device, and he pours out the other end in a hot bloody syrup, which she catches in a series of little husband molds.
What splatters on the floor the dog licks up.
When they have set she has seventeen little husbands.
One she throws to the dog because the genitals didn't set right; too much like a vulva because of an air bubble.
Then there are sixteen naked little husbands standing in a row across the kitchen table.
She diddles them and they produce sixteen little erections.
She thinks she might melt her husband again.
She likes melting him.
She might pour him into an even smaller series of husband molds .

Written by Russell Edson |

The Breast

 One night a woman's breast came to a man's room and
began to talk about her twin sister.
Her twin sister this and her twin sister that.
Finally the man said, but what about you, dear breast? And so the breast spent the rest of the night talking about herself.
It was the same as when she talked about her sister: herself this and herself that.
Finally the man kissed her nipple and said, I'm sorry, and fell asleep.

Written by Russell Edson |

The Ox

 There was once a woman whose father over 
the years had become an ox.
She would hear him alone at night lowing in his room.
It was one day when she looked up into his face that she suddenly noticed the ox.
She cried, you're an ox! And he began to moo with his great pink tongue hanging out of his mouth.
He would stand over his newspaper, turning the pages with his tongue, while he evacuated on the rug.
When this was brought to his attention he would low with sorrow, and slowly climb the stairs to his room, and there spend the night in mournful lowing.

Written by Russell Edson |

The Lighted Window

 A lighted window floats through the night 
like a piece of paper in the wind.
I want to see into it.
I want to climb through into its lighted room.
As I reach for it it slips through the trees.
As I chase it it rolls and tumbles into the air and skitters on through the night .

Written by Russell Edson |


 The living room is overgrown with grass.
It has come up around the furniture.
It stretches through the dining room, past the swinging door into the kitchen.
It extends for miles and miles into the walls .
There's treasure in grass, things dropped or put there; a stick of rust that was once a penknife, a grave marker.
All hidden in the grass at the scalp of the window .
In a cellar under the grass an old man sits in a rocking chair, rocking to and fro.
In his arms he holds an infant, the infant body of himself.
And he rocks to and fro under the grass in the dark .

Written by Russell Edson |

The Death Of A Fly

 There was once a man who disguised himself as a 
housefly and went about the neighborhood depositing 
Well, he has to do something hasn't he? said someone to someone else.
Of course, said someone else back to someone.
Then what's all the fuss? said someone to someone else.
Who's fussing? I'm just saying that if he doesn't get off the wall of that building the police will have to shoot him off.
Oh that, of course, there's nothing so engaging as a dead fly.
I love dead flies, the way they remind me of individuals who have met their fate .

Written by Russell Edson |

The Closet

 Here I am with my mother, hanging under the molt 
of years, in a garden of umbrellas and rubber boots, 
together always in the vague perfume of her coat.
See how the fedoras along the shelf are the several skulls of my father, in this catacomb of my family.

Written by Russell Edson |

The Gentlemen In The Meadow

 Some gentlemen are floating in the meadow over 
the yellow grass.
They seem to hover by those wonderful blue little flowers that grow there by those rocks.
Perhaps they have floated up from that nearby graveyard? They drift a little when the wind blows.
Butterflies flutter through them .