Brian Culhane

Brian Culhane

Brian Culhane’s poems have appeared in such journals as The New Criterion, The Hudson Review, The New Republic, Chelsea, Boulevard, Slate, and The Massachusetts Review.

He holds degrees from the City University of New York, Columbia University, and the University of Washington. His first book, The King’s Question (Graywolf Press, 2007) received the Emily Dickinson Award from The Poetry Foundation. He has held writing fellowships from The Artist Trust and the MacDowell Colony.

Brian Culhane:

Estrangement in Athens

Mount Olympus held nothing for them.
No occasion of theirs could provoke
Magniloquent debate. Nor act require
That attic of gods to come swooping
Onto the field, swaying the battle.
Only the great booming of the ferry
As it shouldered alongside the pier;
Only the waitress counting their
Saucers: it was this April morning
That swung them by their heels.
What was missing was the impersonal,
The fated, a visionary marble address,
The goddess skimming over blue water
To whisper good news, or some stud,
Swan, or bull brimming with light.
Not a wingéd foot. Only Love,
Recently decamped, hovered above
The table, ready to be splendid.
But their ten years’ war had ended.

From Brian Culhane’s Estrangement in Athens
(Graywolf Press, 2008).

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Poetry in this post: © Brian Culhane
Published with the permission of Brian Culhane