Touch Me by Stanley Kunitz


Summer is late, my heart.
Words plucked out of the air
some forty years ago
when I was wild with love
and torn almost in two
scatter like leaves this night
of whistling wind and rain.
It is my heart that’s late,
it is my song that’s flown.
Outdoors all afternoon
under a gunmetal sky
staking my garden down,
I kneeled to the crickets trilling
underfoot as if about
to burst from their crusty shells;
and like a child again
marveled to hear so clear
and brave a music pour
from such a small machine.
What makes the engine go?
Desire, desire, desire.
The longing for the dance
stirs in the buried life.
One season only,
and it’s done.
So let the battered old willow
thrash against the windowpanes
and the house timbers creak.
Darling, do you remember
the man you married? Touch me,
remind me who I am.

Stanley Kunitz 1905 – 2006

Stanley Kunitz, The Art of Poetry No. 29 – 1977 interview by Chris Busa for the Paris Review


4 thoughts on “Touch Me by Stanley Kunitz

  1. Minerva

    A lot of the lines in this beautiful poem hit very close to home. I am a newcomer to this site, and I
    love your music, poems, etc. I am amazed at your varied interests, and it’s a mind opener.
    Thank you for being so generous with your knowledge.

    1. Taimur Khan Post author


      Thank you for the kind words! I really like this poem too, and thanks to the internet, it feels wonderful to share our interests over long distances with such immediacy.


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