A Moment with Joseph Stroud
THE OTHERS, O LORD, FOR MY TIME HAS NOT YET COME
In a room of the Prado many people stop to gaze
at Breughel's The Triumph of Death, a window
into the nightmare of plague––a great battlefield
where Death's legions begin the massacres.
Like everyone, I search for myself among the living,
the ones fleeing, among those trying to escape the canvas.
From Of this World: New and Selected Poems, by Joseph Stroud,
Copper Canyon Press (2009).
I bought this excellent book at the AWP Conference, after recommendations from Dan Gerber and Rick Bursky. I had never previously heard of Joseph Stroud, and now I think he is one of America's greatest living poets.
The cover--a painting by Martin Johnson Heade--is entirely coincidental to my analysis.