June 2012 Poem of the Month — Beverly Voigt

SONNET, IN MEMORY

I remember your garage apartment
on Darlington, the kitchen where we played
jazzy love songs, all those things we did at
your table besides eat your scrambled eggs
and cheese. I remember the time we drew
our chairs up to the side window to watch
a summer thunderstorm, let it grow dark
without turning on the lights. Later, when
the rain quieted to a slow drizzle
I realized you were asleep beside
me for the first time. I thought: I could live
an interior life with you, sitting
at that window, eating at your table,
awake and asleep, letting the light fade.

Beverly Voigt, a native Pittsburgher, lives and works in Los Angeles. Her poem “In the Backyard” won the Friends of Acadia Poetry Prize in 2008.

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4 thoughts on “June 2012 Poem of the Month — Beverly Voigt

  1. Great compression and appearance on the page. It says so much with so little language––”all those things we did at / your table besides eat your scrambled eggs / and cheese. It’s the “besides” that rings throughout this poem. The imagery is simple, grounded in time and place, and therefore the moment is real and is so alive––just like that “summer thunderstorm.” Love too, the use of the word, “interior,” with its double meaning. Nice turn and quiet surprise in lines 8 and 9 with the discovery of “you were asleep beside / me for the first time.”
    Commenting off the page, I want to say that I see Pittsburgh so vividly in this poem! As a native Californian now living in Pittsburgh, (the opposite of Voigt’s journey!), I can say I know the particularity of a Pittsburgh summer storm and how the sky can change so dramatically so quickly. I love that Voigt is giving her reader the feeling of such a local Pittsburgh experience––with such poignancy.

    Super lovely poem. I wish I had written it.

    Your fan in Pittsburgh,
    Celeste Gainey

    p.s am thinking the poem refers to Darlington Rd. in Squirrel Hill?

    • Celeste, thank you so much! You are correct, that is the very street. I hope you love Pittsburgh as much as I do.

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