January 10: “In the Night”

Out of the shadow late at night I gape
And see the stars but do not watch them really,
And hear the trains but do not listen clearly;
Inside my mind I turn about to keep
Myself awake, yet I am not there entirely;
Something of me is out in the dark landscape.

How much am I then what I think, how much what I feel,
How much the eye that seems to keep stars straight?
Do I control what I can contemplate
Or is it my vision that’s amenable?
I turn in my mind; my mind is a room whose wall
I can see the top of but never completely scale.

All that I love is, like the night, outside,
Good to be gazed at, looking as if it could
With a simple gesture be brought inside my head,
Or in my heart, but my thoughts about it divide
Me from my object. Now, deep in my bed,
I turn and the world turns on the other side.

— Elizabeth Jennings

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