Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

John Burnside

THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF CHILDHOOD 1: HOUSE

THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF CHILDHOOD 1: HOUSE

THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF CHILDHOOD 1: HOUSE

If the house in a dream
Is how I imagine myself:      

room after room
of furniture no one could use;

stairs leading upwards
to nothing; an empty hall

filling with snow
where a door has been left ajar;

then whatever I make
of the one room high in the roof

where something alive and frantic
is hopelessly trapped,

whatever I make
of the sweetness it leaves behind

on waking, what I know
and cannot tell

is awkward and dark in my hands
while I stop to remember

the snare of a heart;
the approximate weight of possession.
Close

THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF CHILDHOOD 1: HOUSE

If the house in a dream
Is how I imagine myself:      

room after room
of furniture no one could use;

stairs leading upwards
to nothing; an empty hall

filling with snow
where a door has been left ajar;

then whatever I make
of the one room high in the roof

where something alive and frantic
is hopelessly trapped,

whatever I make
of the sweetness it leaves behind

on waking, what I know
and cannot tell

is awkward and dark in my hands
while I stop to remember

the snare of a heart;
the approximate weight of possession.

THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF CHILDHOOD 1: HOUSE

Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
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