Now that I’ve unplugged the phone,
no one can reach me–
At least for this one afternoon
they will have to get by without my advice
or opinion.
Now nobody else is going to call
& ask in a tentative voice
if I haven’t yet heard that she’s dead,
that woman I once loved–
nothing but ashes scattered over a city
that barely itself any longer exists.
Yes, thank you, I’ve heard.
It had been too lovely a morning.
That in itself should have warned me.
The sun lit up the tangerines
& the blazing poinsettias
like so many candles.
For one afternoon they will have to forgive me.
I am busy watching things happen again
that happened a long time ago.
as I lean back in Josephine’s lawnchair
under a sky of incredible blue,
broken–if that is the word for it–
by a few billowing clouds,
all white & unspeakably lovely,
drifting out of one nothingness into another.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Steve Kowit's poem Some Clouds


  1. Gabriella B. says:

    My first thought was that this poem was written about 9/11, but after further searching I discovered that it was published in 1991, 10 years before the 9/11 attacks occurred. I love this poem nevertheless.

  2. fane wazny says:

    Steve Kowit was my creative writing professor at SDSU in 1980. Great teacher! I wonder if this poem has to do with 9/11.

  3. Chloe says:

    such beautiful lines

  4. tracii says:

    the poem was awsum

  5. Rao says:

    Beautiful Poem! Presented on Writers Almanac on 2nd
    April 2006

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