Home > Poetry > Swan Song
Ted Richer
Published: Tue Jan 30 2018
Art: Paul TheriaultEver New (detail), 2022, acrylic and found paper on scavenged wood
Swan Song

A dark night.


A long night.


Ice on the ground.


Snow in the air.


Wind.


A lone swan on the pond.


Me—at the window.


. . .


A darker night.


A longer night.


Ice on the ground.


Snow in the air.


Wind.


A lone swan on the pond.


Me—at the window.


. . .


The darkest night.


The longest night.


Ice on the ground.


Snow in the air.


Wind.


A lone swan on the pond.


Me—at the window.


You gone.

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Ted Richer is the author of The Writer in the Story and Other Figurations (Apocalypse Press [U.K.], 2003; introduction by Christopher Ricks). His writing has been published in Literary Imagination, AGNI, Harvard Review, Leviathan, New York Quarterly, and elsewhere. His poetry also appears in the anthology_ Joining Music with Reason: 34 Poets, British and American, Oxford 2004–2009_, chosen by Christopher Ricks (Waywiser, 2010). A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he is a former professor of English and creative writing at UMass Boston and also taught at the Massachusetts College of Art. (updated 6/2021)

In 2021 a TikTok of Richer reading the last stanza of his “Swan Song” went viral, garnering more than a half million views in three days.

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