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Best Famous David Wagoner Poems

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

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by David Wagoner |

At The Door

 All actors look for them-the defining moments
When what a character does is what he is.
The script may say, He goes to the door And exits or She goes out the door stage left.
But you see your fingers touching the doorknob, Closing around it, turning it As if by themselves.
The latch slides Out of the strike-plate, the door swings on its hinges, And you're about to take that step Over the threshold into a different light.
For the audience, you may simply be Disappearing from the scene, yet in those few seconds You can reach for the knob as the last object on earth You wanted to touch.
Or you can take it Warmly like the hand your father offered Once in forgiveness and afterward Kept to himself.
Or you can stand there briefly, as bewildered As by the door of a walk-in time-lock safe, Stand there and stare At the whole concept of shutness, like a rat Whose maze has been rebaffled overnight, Stand still and quiver, unable to turn Around or go left or right.
Or you can grasp it with a sly, soundless discretion, Open it inch by inch, testing each fraction Of torque on the spindles, on tiptoe Slip yourself through the upright slot And press the lock-stile silently Back into its frame.
Or you can use your shoulder Or the hard heel of your shoe And a leg-thrust to break it open.
Or you can approach the door as if accustomed To having all barriers open by themselves.
You can wrench aside This unauthorized interruption of your progress And then leave it ajar For others to do with as they may see fit.
Or you can stand at ease And give the impression you can see through This door or any door and have no need To take your physical self to the other side.
Or you can turn the knob as if at last Nothing could please you more, your body language Filled with expectations of joy at where you're going, Holding yourself momentarily in the posture Of an awestruck pilgrim at the gate-though you know You'll only be stepping out against the scrim Or a wobbly flat daubed with a landscape, A scribble of leaves, a hint of flowers, The bare suggestion of a garden.


by David Wagoner |

For A Row Of Laurel Shrubs

 They don't want to be your hedge,
 Your barrier, your living wall, the no-go
 Go-between between your property
And the prying of dogs and strangers.
They don't Want to settle any of your old squabbles Inside or out of bounds.
Their new growth In three-foot shoots goes thrusting straight Up in the air each April or goes off Half-cocked sideways to reconnoiter Wilder dimensions: the very idea Of squareness, of staying level seems Alien to them, and they aren't in the least Discouraged by being suddenly lopped off Year after year by clippers or the stuttering Electric teeth of trimmers hedging their bets To keep them all in line, all roughly In order.
They don't even Want to be good-neighborly bushes (Though under the outer stems and leaves The thick, thick-headed, soot-blackened Elderly branches have been dodging And weaving through so many disastrous springs, So many whacked-out, contra- Dictory changes of direction, they've locked Themselves together for good).
Yet each Original planting, left to itself, would be No fence, no partition, no crook-jointed Entanglement, but a tree by now outspread With all of itself turned upward at every Inconvenient angle you can imagine, And look, on the ground, the fallen leaves, Brown, leathery, as thick as tongues, remain Almost what they were, tougher than ever, Slow to molder, to give in, dead slow to feed The earth with themselves, there at the feet Of their fathers in the evergreen shade Of their replacements.
Remember, admirers Long ago would sometimes weave fresh clippings Into crowns and place them squarely on the heads Of their most peculiar poets.


by David Wagoner |

Wallace Stevens On His Way To Work

 He would leave early and walk slowly
 As if balancing books
 On the way to school, already expecting
To be tardy once again and heavy
 With numbers, the unfashionably rounded
 Toes of his shoes invisible beyond
The slope of his corporation.
He would pause At his favorite fundamentally sound Park bench, which had been the birthplace Of paeans and ruminations on other mornings, And would turn his back to it, having gauged the distance Between his knees and the edge of the hardwood Almost invariably unoccupied At this enlightened hour by the bums of nighttime (For whom the owlish eye of the moon Had been closed by daylight), and would give himself wholly over Backwards and trustingly downwards And be well seated there.
He would remove From his sinister jacket pocket a postcard And touch it and retouch it with the point Of the fountain he produced at his fingertips And fill it with his never-before-uttered Runes and obbligatos and pellucidly cryptic Duets from private pageants, from broken ends Of fandangos with the amoeba chaos chaos Couchant and rampant.
Then he would rise With an effort as heartfelt as a decision To get out of bed on Sunday and carefully Relocate his center of gravity Above and beyond an imaginary axis Between his feet and carry the good news Along the path and the sidewalk, well on his way To readjusting the business of the earth.