Mar 132010




For sure that sea is bitter in its seethe
bitterly cold between cold black rocks
below us and one of us remarks
the wind shivering these scrawny aspens
into so much panic feels bitter and raw
across bare faces and I can tell you
if you were to pluck and chew just any
of these leaves around us you’d find
just how much more bitterness lies
beneath the skin of so many things
you thought you knew and so yes it’s true
these words taste bitter that we
are us no more but cold as the black sea
that seethes so raw behind cold eyes
and across hidden hearts frozen faces
never bare except beneath remarks
about weather that taste to us
each apart as savorless as the wind
we chew with every bitter word
fluttering like this monotonous uproar
of bitter leaves whose only fear
trembles in words we dare not say.

—William Hathaway

See also “Bufflehead Dawn,” “Martin Points

Author Interview with Adam Tavel in Poets’ Quarterly


  One Response to “Bitterness: Poem — William Hathaway”

  1. Hathaway has a new book of poems, Dawn Chorus. “The Poetry Reading” might appeal to visitors to this website. Check it out on

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.