Thom Gunn (1929-2004), British-born poet who resided in San Francisco for much of his life, published over thirty books of poetry and two collections of essays; he also edited four collections of poetry. His numerous honors include a Rockefeller Award, the W. H. Smith Award, the PEN (Los Angeles) Prize for Poetry, the Forward Prize, and fellowships from the Guggenheim and MacArthur foundations.
THE NIGHT PIECE
The fog drifts slowly down the hill
And as I mount gets thicker still,
Closes me in, makes me its own
Like bedclothes on the paving stone.
Here are the last few streets to climb,
Galleries, run through veins of time,
Almost familiar, where I creep
Toward sleep like fog, through fog like sleep.
“The Night Piece” by Thom Gunn, from Collected Poems. Copyright © Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1994. Reprinted with the permission of the publisher.