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  • The Sweetness
  • Edward Hirsch (bio)

Tornami avanti, s'alcun dolce mai
Ebbe 'l cor tristo . . .

(Petrarch, #272)

The times my sad heart knew a little sweetness come back to me now: the coffee shop in Decatur, the waffle house in Macon. . . .

The highway signs pointed to our happiness; the greasy spoons and gleaming truck stops were the stations of our pilgrimage.

Remember the flock of Baptist women flying off the bus and gathering on the bridge over the river, singing with praise?

Wasn't that us staggering past the riverboats and eating homemade fudge at the county fair and devouring each other's bodies?

They come back to me now, delicious love, the times my sad heart knew a little sweetness.

Edward Hirsch

Edward Hirsch, who taught poetry writing for many years at the University of Houston, is presently director of the Guggenheim Foundation. His new volume of poems, Special Orders, will be published in Spring 2008 by Knopf.



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