YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

An opening set by 'The Lake'

April 22, 2012
  • Poet David St. John.
Poet David St. John. (Harper Collins )

A professor in the English Department at USC, David St. John employs natural landscapes in his new collection "The Auroras: New Poems" (Harper: 96 pp., $24.99) to explore psychological nuances, colorings and especially our limitations. The collection's opening poem, "The Lake," for example, brims with desire that is powerful, and yet, as St. John suggests, we are often incapable of fully appreciating or understanding what's before us.

The Lake

By David St. John

Opaque the lake woke emerald

The raw decorum of the night giving way

To a slow extravagance the petal-felled touch

Of skin & mist allowed by this

First undressing of the day So much for beauty...

That is not so much as in

Well my friend That's that nor as in I'm certain—

At last — of something... No instead I mean

What's given to us however dulled & undeserving we remain

Is beyond our reckoning though we gaze expectantly into the sky

Entitled to nothing & yet demanding all like these swollen red

Poppies at the end of each sudden summer's


Los Angeles Times Articles