This week’s featured poem from Slate is entitled The Fear of the Dark and is written by Nan Cohen. As always, I would encourage you to check out this link to Slate’s poem page to hear Nan Cohen read her poem aloud. Hearing a poet read their work is such a great experience, and it doesn’t have to be confined to coffee shops and poetry readings. Just click this link and inject a bit of poetry into your everyday life.
Nan Cohen, according to her website, has published a book of poems entitled Rope Bridge (2005). She teaches in the Master of Professional Writing Program at the University of Southern California, and serves as the Poetry Program Director of the Napa Valley Writers Conference. She has received fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rona Jaffe Foundation, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference.
The Fear of the Dark, by Nan Cohen
The fear of the dark is the flame
at the end of a match: one scratch,
and it flares.
Then a voice calls in the night.
And you go to it.
Wherever earth is in shadow,
these fears burn like fires.
This one is yours.
You tend it. Feed it a stick.
The flame crouches
to eat the wood.
Serving the fire,
you don’t fear the dark.
You kneel to it,
hearing its voice
grow softer and slower, until
it says one more thing
you can’t hear. And sleeps.
I hope you enjoyed this week’s poem from Slate. Stay tuned for another next week!
— Jet Fuel Blog Editor, Mary Egan