Negative Capability – Michigan Quarterly Review

Negative Capability

“Negative Capability,” by Yusef Komunyakaa,  appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review’s Summer 1999 issue.
We bring you this poem from The MQR Archives.
The honeysuckle vines are certain
They’ll be here tomorrow morning,
Unhushed scent reaching into next month,
As I rest the scythe against a stump
To sharpen the curved blade.
Their green surety. My uncertainty:
That pain in the chest could return
In the middle of this job, a ferryman
Singing One more river to cross.
A miracle defines itself. I love
What doesn’t reveal every seam,
Every droplet—when doubt owns tongue
& clitoris, heart & penis. I love
Mystery, & hope I never touch naked
Threads of reason to answer the slimy,
Clueless snout probing the dark.
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