This is the official site of Allen Grossman, poet of love, holiness, and mortality.  Here you'll find poems, biography and bibliography.

Poetry is a principle of power invoked by all of us against our vanishing.  The making of poems is a practice – a work human beings can do – in which civilization has invested some part of its love of itself and the world.  The poem is a trace of the will of all persons to be known and to make known and, therefore, to be at all.  Insofar as love wills the existence of what it loves, the principle of poetry is a collective and perpetually renewed act of love that brings the world to mind, and mind to mind, as the speech of a person – at the moment of the vanishing of world and persons, which is every moment of conscious life.  Poetry is one means by which human beings engage, as they can, in the maintenance of a human world in which they can meet one another, affirm one another, remember, see, and foresee one another.

The Work

A great light is the man who knows the woman he loves

A great light is the woman who knows the man she loves

And carries the light into room after room arousing
The sleepers and looking hard into the face of each
And then sends them asleep again with a kiss
Or a whole night of love

                                  and goes on and on until
The man and woman who carry the great lights of the
Knowledge of the one lover enter the room

                                                              toward which
Their light is sent and fit the one and the other torch
In a high candelabrum and there is such light
That children leap up

                              unless the sea swallow them
In the crossing or hatred or war against which do not
Pray only but be vigilant and set your hand to the work.



Copyright Allen Grossman