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Best Famous Raymond Carver Poems

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

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Written by Raymond Carver | |

Circulation

 And all at length are gathered in.
--LOUISE BOGAN By the time I came around to feeling pain and woke up, moonlight flooded the room.
My arm lay paralyzed, propped up like an old anchor under your back.
You were in a dream, you said later, where you'd arrived early for the dance.
But after a moment's anxiety you were okay because it was really a sidewalk sale, and the shoes you were wearing, or not wearing, were fine for that.
* "Help me," I said.
And tried to hoist my arm.
But it just lay there, aching, unable to rise on its own.
Even after you said, "What is it? What's wrong?" it stayed put -- deaf, unmoved by any expression of fear or amazement.
We shouted at it, and grew afraid when it didn't answer.
"It's gone to sleep," I said, and hearing those words knew how absurd this was.
But I couldn't laugh.
Somehow, between the two of us, we managed to raise it.
This can't be my arm is what I kept thinking as we thumped it, squeezed it, and prodded it back to life.
Shook it until that stinging went away.
We said a few words to each other.
I don't remember what.
Whatever reassuring things people who love each other say to each other given the hour and such odd circumstance.
I do remember you remarked how it was light enough in the room that you could see circles under my eyes.
You said I needed more regular sleep, and I agreed.
Each of us went to the bathroom, and climbed back into bed on our respective sides.
Pulled the covers up.
"Good night," you said, for the second time that night.
And fell asleep.
Maybe into that same dream, or else another.
* I lay until daybreak, holding both arms fast across my chest.
Working my fingers now and then.
While my thoughts kept circling around and around, but always going back where they'd started from.
That one inescapable fact: even while we undertake this trip, there's another, far more bizarre, we still have to make.


Written by Raymond Carver | |

The Current

 These fish have no eyes 
these silver fish that come to me in dreams, 
scattering their roe and milt 
in the pockets of my brain.
But there's one that comes-- heavy, scarred, silent like the rest, that simply holds against the current, closing its dark mouth against the current, closing and opening as it holds to the current.


Written by Raymond Carver | |

Happiness

 So early it's still almost dark out.
I'm near the window with coffee, and the usual early morning stuff that passes for thought.
When I see the boy and his friend walking up the road to deliver the newspaper.
They wear caps and sweaters, and one boy has a bag over his shoulder.
They are so happy they aren't saying anything, these boys.
I think if they could, they would take each other's arm.
It's early in the morning, and they are doing this thing together.
They come on, slowly.
The sky is taking on light, though the moon still hangs pale over the water.
Such beauty that for a minute death and ambition, even love, doesn't enter into this.
Happiness.
It comes on unexpectedly.
And goes beyond, really, any early morning talk about it.


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Written by Raymond Carver | |

Drinking While Driving

 It's August and I have not 
Read a book in six months 
except something called The Retreat from Moscow
by Caulaincourt 
Nevertheless, I am happy 
Riding in a car with my brother 
and drinking from a pint of Old Crow.
We do not have any place in mind to go, we are just driving.
If I closed my eyes for a minute I would be lost, yet I could gladly lie down and sleep forever beside this road My brother nudges me.
Any minute now, something will happen.


Written by Raymond Carver | |

Fear

 Fear of seeing a police car pull into the drive.
Fear of falling asleep at night.
Fear of not falling asleep.
Fear of the past rising up.
Fear of the present taking flight.
Fear of the telephone that rings in the dead of night.
Fear of electrical storms.
Fear of the cleaning woman who has a spot on her cheek! Fear of dogs I've been told won't bite.
Fear of anxiety! Fear of having to identify the body of a dead friend.
Fear of running out of money.
Fear of having too much, though people will not believe this.
Fear of psychological profiles.
Fear of being late and fear of arriving before anyone else.
Fear of my children's handwriting on envelopes.
Fear they'll die before I do, and I'll feel guilty.
Fear of having to live with my mother in her old age, and mine.
Fear of confusion.
Fear this day will end on an unhappy note.
Fear of waking up to find you gone.
Fear of not loving and fear of not loving enough.
Fear that what I love will prove lethal to those I love.
Fear of death.
Fear of living too long.
Fear of death.
I've said that.


Written by Raymond Carver | |

Late Fragment

 And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
I did.
And what did you want? To call myself beloved, to feel myself beloved on the earth.


Written by Raymond Carver | |

Photograph of My Father in His Twenty-Second Year

 October.
Here in this dank, unfamiliar kitchen I study my father's embarrassed young man's face.
Sheepish grin, he holds in one hand a string of spiny yellow perch, in the other a bottle of Carlsbad Beer.
In jeans and denim shirt, he leans against the front fender of a 1934 Ford.
He would like to pose bluff and hearty for his posterity, Wear his old hat cocked over his ear.
All his life my father wanted to be bold.
But the eyes give him away, and the hands that limply offer the string of dead perch and the bottle of beer.
Father, I love you, yet how can I say thank you, I who can't hold my liquor either, and don't even know the places to fish?


Written by Raymond Carver | |

This Morning

 This morning was something.
A little snow lay on the ground.
The sun floated in a clear blue sky.
The sea was blue, and blue-green, as far as the eye could see.
Scarcely a ripple.
Calm.
I dressed and went for a walk -- determined not to return until I took in what Nature had to offer.
I passed close to some old, bent-over trees.
Crossed a field strewn with rocks where snow had drifted.
Kept going until I reached the bluff.
Where I gazed at the sea, and the sky, and the gulls wheeling over the white beach far below.
All lovely.
All bathed in a pure cold light.
But, as usual, my thoughts began to wander.
I had to will myself to see what I was seeing and nothing else.
I had to tell myself this is what mattered, not the other.
(And I did see it, for a minute or two!) For a minute or two it crowded out the usual musings on what was right, and what was wrong -- duty, tender memories, thoughts of death, how I should treat with my former wife.
All the things I hoped would go away this morning.
The stuff I live with every day.
What I've trampled on in order to stay alive.
But for a minute or two I did forget myself and everything else.
I know I did.
For when I turned back i didn't know where I was.
Until some birds rose up from the gnarled trees.
And flew in the direction I needed to be going.


Written by Raymond Carver | |

What The Doctor Said

 He said it doesn't look good
he said it looks bad in fact real bad
he said I counted thirty-two of them on one lung before
I quit counting them
I said I'm glad I wouldn't want to know
about any more being there than that
he said are you a religious man do you kneel down
in forest groves and let yourself ask for help
when you come to a waterfall
mist blowing against your face and arms
do you stop and ask for understanding at those moments
I said not yet but I intend to start today
he said I'm real sorry he said
I wish I had some other kind of news to give you
I said Amen and he said something else
I didn't catch and not knowing what else to do
and not wanting him to have to repeat it
and me to have to fully digest it
I just looked at him
for a minute and he looked back it was then
I jumped up and shook hands with this man who'd just given me
something no one else on earth had ever given me
I may have even thanked him habit being so strong


Written by Raymond Carver | |

An Afternoon

 As he writes, without looking at the sea,
he feels the tip of his pen begin to tremble.
The tide is going out across the shingle.
But it isn't that.
No, it's because at that moment she chooses to walk into the room without any clothes on.
Drowsy, not even sure where she is for a moment.
She waves the hair from her forehead.
Sits on the toilet with her eyes closed, head down.
Legs sprawled.
He sees her through the doorway.
Maybe she's remembering what happened that morning.
For after a time, she opens one eye and looks at him.
And sweetly smiles.


Written by Raymond Carver | |

Bobber

 On the Columbia River near Vantage, 
Washington, we fished for whitefish 
in the winter months; my dad, Swede- 
Mr.
Lindgren-and me.
They used belly-reels, pencil-length sinkers, red, yellow, or brown flies baited with maggots.
They wanted distance and went clear out there to the edge of the riffle.
I fished near shore with a quill bobber and a cane pole.
My dad kept his maggots alive and warm under his lower lip.
Mr.
Lindgren didn't drink.
I liked him better than my dad for a time.
He lets me steer his car, teased me about my name "Junior," and said one day I'd grow into a fine man, remember all this, and fish with my own son.
But my dad was right.
I mean he kept silent and looked into the river, worked his tongue, like a thought, behind the bait.


Written by Raymond Carver | |

Stupid

 It's what the kids nowadays call weed.
And it drifts like clouds from his lips.
He hopes no one comes along tonight, or calls to ask for help.
Help is what he's most short on tonight.
A storm thrashes outside.
Heavy seas with gale winds from the west.
The table he sits at is, say, two cubits long and one wide.
The darkness in the room teems with insight.
Could be he'll write an adventure novel.
Or else a children's story.
A play for two female characters, one of whom is blind.
Cutthroat should be coming into the river.
One thing he'll do is learn to tie his own flies.
Maybe he should give more money to each of his surviving family members.
The ones who already expect a little something in the mail first of each month.
Every time they write they tell him they're coming up short.
He counts heads on his fingers and finds they're all survivng.
So what if he'd rather be remembered in the dreams of strangers? He raises his eyes to the skylights where rain hammers on.
After a while -- who knows how long? -- his eyes ask that they be closed.
And he closes them.
But the rain keeps hammering.
Is this a cloudburst? Should he do something? Secure the house in some way? Uncle Bo stayed married to Aunt Ruby for 47 years.
Then hanged himself.
He opens his eyes again.
Nothing adds up.
It all adds up.
How long will this storm go on?


Written by Raymond Carver | |

The Best Time Of The Day

 Cool summer nights.
Windows open.
Lamps burning.
Fruit in the bowl.
And your head on my shoulder.
These the happiest moments in the day.
Next to the early morning hours, of course.
And the time just before lunch.
And the afternoon, and early evening hours.
But I do love these summer nights.
Even more, I think, than those other times.
The work finished for the day.
And no one who can reach us now.
Or ever.


Written by Raymond Carver | |

The Scratch

 I woke up with a spot of blood 
over my eye.
A scratch halfway across my forehead.
But I'm sleeping alone these days.
Why on earth would a man raise his hand against himself, even in sleep? It's this and similar questions I'm trying to answer this morning.
As I study my face in the window.


Written by Raymond Carver | |

Your Dog Dies

 it gets run over by a van.
you find it at the side of the road and bury it.
you feel bad about it.
you feel bad personally, but you feel bad for your daughter because it was her pet, and she loved it so.
she used to croon to it and let it sleep in her bed.
you write a poem about it.
you call it a poem for your daughter, about the dog getting run over by a van and how you looked after it, took it out into the woods and buried it deep, deep, and that poem turns out so good you're almost glad the little dog was run over, or else you'd never have written that good poem.
then you sit down to write a poem about writing a poem about the death of that dog, but while you're writing you hear a woman scream your name, your first name, both syllables, and your heart stops.
after a minute, you continue writing.
she screams again.
you wonder how long this can go on.