In this installment, Patrick Donnelly reads “This Living Hand” by John Keats. Donnelly's first collection of poems is The Charge (Ausable Press, 2003), about which Gregory Orr wrote: "Donnelly writes of eros and AIDS, grief and rage—and everything he writes is suffused with tenderness and intelligence, lucidity and courage." His poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, The Yale Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, The Massachusetts Review, Ploughshares, and he is an associate editor at Four Way Books.
John Keats, "This Living Hand"
This living hand, now warm and capable
Of earnest grasping, would, if it were cold
And in the icy silence of the tomb,
So haunt thy days and chill thy dreaming nights
That thou wouldst wish thine own heart dry of blood
So in my veins red life might stream again,
And thou be conscience-calmed—see here it is—
I hold it towards you.