John Burnside


All summer long, I waited for the night
to drive out in the unexpected gold
of beech woods, and those lighted homesteads, set
like kindling in the crease-lines of the dark,

catching a glimpse, from the road, of huddled dogs
and sleepless cattle, mustered in a yard
as one flesh, heads
like lanterns, swaying, full of muddled light;

from An Essay Concerning Light

You can read the whole poem, and others at

John Burnside


Image Andreas Senftleben, Pixabay


10 thoughts on “John Burnside

    1. I don’t associate those colours with Alaska. Very beautiful – will see it one of these days. Yes, I like the dogs and cattle too and the lighted homesteads in the crease-lines of the dark. A favourite poet.

  1. Given how much I enjoyed Burnside’s novel A Summer of Drowning, I ought to give his poetry a try one day. Many thanks for the link – I’ll definitely check it out.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s