Skip to main content
By David Ferry

The sea bit,

As they said it would,

And the hill slid,

As they said it would,

And the poor dead

Nodded agog

The poor head.


O topmost lofty

Tower of Troy,

The poem apparently

Speaks with joy

Of terrible things.

Where is the pleasure

The poetry brings?


Tell if you can,

What does it make?

A city of man

That will not shake,

Or if it shake,

Shake with the splendor

Of the poem’s pleasure.


Source: Poetry (July 2011)

Poet Bio

David Ferry was born in Orange, New Jersey. He served in the Air Force for three years and became sergeant before matriculating at Amherst College, where he received a bachelor’s degree, and then continuing at Harvard where he earned a Ph.D. After graduating, Ferry began teaching at Wellesley College, where he was a member of the faculty for over fifty years. Well-known as a translator of some of the world’s major works of poetry, he is also a prize-winning poet in his own right.

More By This Poet

More Poems about Arts & Sciences

Browse poems about Arts & Sciences

More Poems about Mythology & Folklore

Browse poems about Mythology & Folklore