Kenneth Rosen


Perhaps it is hateful to dwell on that
Deadly latitude, where the line of the horizon
Is attainable, not galloping, a horse
Browsing on sunset and other indefinite
Russet Sargassos, as if no horse, no rider,
Ever drowned in the unreal from crime,
Suicide, or simple exigency: the red ocean

Truly a huge blue tongue, its bottom wet
And mute, its surface glacial, utterly blind,
Or purple and disturbed. In either case,
The horse must go overboard, eyes white
And wide. Must swallow, fly—it's almost hilarious—
Pray for the right words, mental waters lashing,
Collapsing, to arrive on the noble mountain.


* * * * * * *


(Crossing the Sargasso Sea, becalmed ships threw horses and other live cargo
overboard in a section of the passage known as 'the horse latitudes.')

Kenneth Rosen is a widely published American poet with a profound interest in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. He has taught modern literature and lectured on American poetry in Bulgaria, Turkey and Egypt. His books of poetry include Whole Horse, No Snake, No Paradise and most recently, The Origins of Tragedy, published by CavanKerry Press. His work appears regularly in The Paris Review. He lives in Portland, Maine and is Professor of English at the University of Southern Maine.