Is this writing mine
Whose name is this
Did I underline
What I was to miss?

An upheaval of leaves
Enlightens the tree
Rooted it receives   
Gusts on a spree

Beauty makes me sad
Makes me grieve
I see what I must leave

Scaffold, gallows
Do whose will
Who hallows wood
To build, kill

Blind man, anvil
No hammer strikes
Your eyes are spikes

  • Samuel Menashe, “At Cross Purposes” from Samuel Menashe: New and Selected Poems, edited by Christopher Ricks, published by The Library of America, 2005. Copyright © 2004 by Samuel Menashe. Used by permission of the author.

  • Source: Samuel Menashe: New and Selected Poems (The Library of America, 2005)

Poet Bio

What People are Saying

"Even people who don't particularly enjoy most forms of poetry can still find a poem that they enjoy AND be very good at reciting if they set their minds to it. What makes poetry so appealing is its ability to describe all sorts of different aspects of the human experience in a new and unique light. There is a poem out there for everyone. Even my dad...maybe."
Danielle Corbett
2016 NH POL Champion