“Equinox ‘75,” a Poem by Ursula Le Guin

From the Anthology Ursula K. Le Guin: Collected Poems

April 24, 2023  By Ursula K. Le Guin

I am sick of men and women
but am not therefore going
sentimental and praising the wisdom of animals
(unlike us, they are wise without praise).
Nor in order to look at the stars
do I have to be snide about learn’d Astronomers,
who after all look
at the stars more often than I do.

In sickness I still sing, dogged,
the intellectual passion.

I will not even with Jeffers
turn to the rocks enduring
before us and after.
what good is a rock not looked at?

The landscape within me these days
is of stone: mountains,
stars, the open sky.
Not even trees. The beaches
empty in twilight.

A star
is a stone on fire.
A mind, an eye
is stone-dust, is star-stuff
and the light that fills it
is the light.

Are those grey coasts I walk on
the shores of the beginning
or the margins of the last chapter?

I do not know. I walk there
alone on the edges
angry, afraid, and uncertain
with my eyes wide open.



Ursula K. Le Guin: Collected Poems (Loa #368) - Le Guin, Ursula K.

Excerpted from Ursula K. Le Guin: Collected Poems. Copyright © 2023 by Library of America. Courtesy of the Estate of Ursula K. Le Guin. Used by permission of the publisher.

Ursula K. Le Guin
Ursula K. Le Guin
Ursula Kroeber Le Guin (1929–2018) was a celebrated and beloved author of 21 novels, 11 volumes of short stories, four collections of essays, 12 children’s books, six volumes of poetry, and four books of translation. The breadth and imagination of her work earned her five Nebulas and five Hugos, along with the PEN/Malamud and many other awards. In 2014 she was awarded the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, and in 2016 joined the short list of authors to be published in their lifetimes by the Library of America.

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