November 10, 2012

Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry

Edited and Introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine poet laureate.

Lewis Turco, who lives in Dresden Mills, is author of numerous poetry collections and The Book of Forms: A Handbook of Poetics, called “the poets’ Bible” since 1968. In today’s intriguing poem he offers the description of a house – or is it something more than a house?

The Habitation

By Lewis Turco
            There is no way out.
        Now the windows have begun
        to cloud over: cobwebs, dust.
    The stairs and floors are unstable –
the hours nibble the foundations.

            In the bedrooms, sheets
        have begun to yellow, spreads
        to fray. Coverlets have worn
    to the colors of late autumn,
thin as a draft sifting at the sill.

            On the kitchen floor
        crumbs and rinds lie recalling
        the old feasts. In the larder
    preserves rust among speckled jars;
the bins yawn; shadow sates the cupboards.

            The fire has been damped
        at the hearth: its bed of ash
        sinks in pit-holes over brick.
    The ceiling snows on the carpet –
Rejoice! Rejoice! The house is failing!


Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2007 by Lewis Turco. Reprinted from “Fearful Pleasures: The Complete Poems of Lewis Turco 1959-2007,” Star Cloud Press, 2007, by permission of Lewis Turco. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to David Turner, special assistant to the Maine poet laureate, at or 228-8263.

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors

Further Discussion

Here at we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)



More PPH Blogs