“The Distances” by Henry W. Rago
Poetry 180: A Poem a Day for American High Schools, Hosted by Billy Collins, U.S. Poet Laureate, 2001-2003
This house, pitched now The dark wide stretch Of plains and ocean To these hills over The night-filled river, Billows with night, Swells with the rooms Of sleeping children, pulls Slowly from this bed, Slowly returns, pulls and holds, Is held where we Lock all distances! Ah, how the distances Spiral from that Secrecy: Room, Rooms, roof Spun to the huge Midnight, and into The rings and rings of stars.
—Henry W. Rago
from A Sky of Late Summer, 1963
The Macmillan Company
Copyright 1963 by Henry W. Rago.
All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission of Christina Rago. Copyright 1963 by The Macmillan Company. For further permissions information, contact Christina Rago, Box 481, Lincoln, MA, 01773.
About the Poet
Henry W. Rago (1915–1969), the former editor of Poetry Magazine, is the author of the poetry collection Sky of Late Summer (University of Chicago Press, 1963). He died in 1969.
Learn more about Henry W. Rago at The Poetry Foundation