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Brian Henry


The thing about the horizon is 

there is no horizon. Walk 

toward it and you’ll see. 

The sun will continue with 

its proton-proton cycle, the moon 

will make an appearance, 

and you’ll still be walking, 

no closer to the horizon 

than when you started. 


It’s almost (but not) like reaching 

for the tree reflected in the river. 

You’ll touch water, not tree, 

because the tree is not where you see it. 

But it’s there (unlike the horizon) 

behind you, whom you reach through 

when you reach for the tree.

Brian Henry.jpeg

Brian Henry is the author of eleven books of poetry, most recently Permanent State, as well as the prose book Things Are Completely Simple: Poetry and Translation. He co-edited the international magazine Verse from 1995 to 2018 and established the Tomaž Šalamun Prize in 2015. His translation of Aleš Šteger’s The Book of Things appeared from BOA Editions in 2010 and won the Best Translated Book Award. He also has translated Tomaž Šalamun’s Woods and Chalices, Aleš Debeljak’s Smugglers, and five other books by Šteger, most recently Burning Tongues: New and Selected Poems. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, the New York Times, Poetry, The New Republic, American Poetry Review, The Yale Review, and many other places. His poetry and translations have received numerous honors, including two NEA fellowships, the Alice Fay di Castagnola Award, a Howard Foundation fellowship, the Carole Weinstein Poetry Prize, the Cecil B. Hemley Memorial Award, the George Bogin Memorial Award, and a Slovenian Academy of Arts and Sciences grant.

Bear Review


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