Knopf Poem-a-Day: April 20, Marge Piercy’s “The level”


Marge Piercy, now the author of eighteen collections of poetry, on the balance we seek.

The level

A great balance hangs in the sky
and briefly on the black pan
and on the blue pan, the melon
of the moon and the blood orange
of the sun are symmetrical
like two unmatched eyes glowing
at us with one desire.

This is an instant’s equality,
a level that at once
starts to dip. In spring
the sun starts up its golden
engine earlier each dawn.
In fall, night soaks
its dye into the edges of day.

But now they hang, two bright
balls teasing us to balance
the halves of our brain, need
and will, gut and intellect,
you and me in an instant’s grace—
understanding no woman, even
Gaia, can always make it work.

Click here to download the printable broadside of this poem.

Learn more about The Hunger Moon and browse other titles by Marge Piercy.

Excerpt from THE HUNGER MOON © 2011 by Middlemarsh, Inc. Excerpted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc., New York. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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