Because I love the tango I was immediately attracted to this poem’s title. Tango, however, is ultimately only the background melody in this beautiful poem to a lover who is absent.
Sonnets for a Tango in the Twilight
from The Sonnets
Who was it that said it all in a homegrown tango
Whose drawn-out, lovely sweetness made me pause
Under some unassuming little balconies
In that leafy neighborhood that isn’t even yours?
All I know is that in its sorrow I saw a simple yard
Within whose earthen walls the whole sunset fit,
A place I’d glimpsed a few months ago in some slum,
And that I loved you more than ever, hearing it.
Caught in that music, I stayed there on the sidewalk
Facing the lonesome moon, the heart of the street,
In the relentless wind that came down driving the night.
That infinite tango pulled me toward everything.
Toward the fresh stars. Toward the chance of being a man.
And toward that clear memory my eyes keep seeking.
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[Listen to an audio recording of Allen Ginsberg reading his “New Stanzas for Amazing Grace”]