NPR logo Excerpt: 'Time and Materials: Poems 1997-2005'

Excerpt: 'Time and Materials: Poems 1997-2005'

'Time and Materials' Cover

Time and Materials: Poems 1997-2005

by Robert Hass

Hardcover, 96 pages

List Price: $22.95

Futures in Lilacs

"Tender little Buddha," she said
Of my least Buddha-like member.
She was probably quoting Allen Ginsberg,
Who was probably paraphrasing Walt Whitman.
After the Civil War, after the death of Lincoln,
That was a good time to own railroad stocks,
But Whitman was in the Library of Congress,
Researching alternative Americas,
Reading up on the curiosities of Hindoo philosophy,
Studying the etchings of stone carvings
Of strange couplings in a book.

She was taking off a blouse,
Almost transparent, the color of a silky tangerine.
From Capitol Hill Walt Whitman must have been able to see
Willows gathering the river haze
In the cooling and still-humid twilight.
He was in love with a trolley conductor
In the summer of — what was it? — 1867? 1868?

The foregoing is excerpted from Time and Materials by Robert Hass. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced without written permission from HarperCollins Publishers.

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