Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

John Burnside

THE INNER EAR

THE INNER EAR

THE INNER EAR

It never switches off; even asleep
We listen in to gravity itself.

Crossing a field is one long exercise
in equilibrium - a player’s grace -

though what we mean by that
has more to do

with music
than the physics we imagine.

A history of forest and the murk
of oceans, nice

adjustments
in the memory of bone

lead us to this: the gaze;
the upright form.

Lemur and tree-shrew linger in the spine
becoming steps; a track worn in the grass;

A moment’s pause
before the rain moves in.
Close

THE INNER EAR

It never switches off; even asleep
We listen in to gravity itself.

Crossing a field is one long exercise
in equilibrium - a player’s grace -

though what we mean by that
has more to do

with music
than the physics we imagine.

A history of forest and the murk
of oceans, nice

adjustments
in the memory of bone

lead us to this: the gaze;
the upright form.

Lemur and tree-shrew linger in the spine
becoming steps; a track worn in the grass;

A moment’s pause
before the rain moves in.

THE INNER EAR

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
Partners
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