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Stephen Dunn Poems

A collection of select Stephen Dunn famous poems that were written by Stephen Dunn or written about the poet by other famous poets. PoetrySoup is a comprehensive educational resource of the greatest poems and poets on history.

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by Dunn, Stephen
 Relax. This won't last long.
Or if it does, or if the lines
make you sleepy or bored,
give in to sleep, turn on
the T.V., deal the cards.
This poem is built to...Read More



by Dunn, Stephen
 He climbed toward the blinding light
and when his eyes adjusted
he looked down and could see

his fellow prisoners captivated
by shadows; everything he had believed
was false. And he was suddenly

in the...Read More

by Dunn, Stephen
 My neighbor was a biker, a pusher, a dog
and wife beater.
In bad dreams I killed him

and once, in the consequential light of day,
I called the Humane Society
about Blue, his...Read More

by Dunn, Stephen
 To hold a damaged sparrow
under water until you feel it die
is to know a small something
about the mind; how, for example,
it blames the cat for the original crime,
how it...Read More

by Dunn, Stephen
 if you believe nothing is always what's left
after a while, as I did,
If you believe you have this collection
of ungiven gifts, as I do (right here
behind the silence and...Read More



by Dunn, Stephen
 It was no place for the faithless,
so I felt a little odd
walking the marshland with my daughters,

Canada geese all around and the blue 
herons just standing there;
safe, and the...Read More

by Dunn, Stephen
 A woman's taking her late-afternoon walk
on Chestnut where no sidewalk exists
and houses with gravel driveways
sit back among the pines. Only the house
with the vicious dog is close to the...Read More

by Dunn, Stephen
 This is not the way I am.
Really, I am much taller in person,
the hairline I conceal reaches back
to my grandfather, and the shyness my wife
will not believe in has...Read More

by Dunn, Stephen
 When Mother died
I thought: now I'll have a death poem.
That was unforgivable.

Yet I've since forgiven myself
as sons are able to do
who've been loved by their mothers.

I stared into the...Read More

by Dunn, Stephen
 The sky in the trees, the trees mixed up
with what's left of heaven, nearby a patch
of daffodils rooted down
where dirt and stones comprise a kind
of night, unmetaphysical, cool as...Read More

by Dunn, Stephen
 It was supposed to be Arts & Crafts for a week, 
but when she came home 
with the "Jesus Saves" button, we knew what art 
was up, what ancient...Read More

by Dunn, Stephen
 The dogs greet me, I descend
into their world of fur and tongues
and then my wife and I embrace
as if we'd just closed the door
in a motel, our two girls...Read More

by Dunn, Stephen
 Because finally the personal
is all that matters,
we spend years describing stones,
chairs, abandoned farmhouses—
until we're ready. Always
it's a matter of precision,
what it feels like
to kiss someone or to walk
out the...Read More

by Dunn, Stephen
 He'd spent his life trying to control the names
  people gave him;
oh the unfair and the accurate equally hurt.

Just recently he'd been a son-of-a-bitch
  and sweetheart in...Read More

by Dunn, Stephen
 Yesterday, for a long while,
the early morning sunlight
in the trees was sufficient,
replaced by a hello
from a long-limbed woman
pedaling her bike,
whereupon the wind came up,
dispersing the mosquitoes.
Blessings, all.
I'd come so...Read More