National Poetry Month Day 12: “Semi-Aubade” by Elisa Gabbert


Welcome to The Rumpus’s National Poetry Month project. We’ll be running a new poem from a different poet each day for the month of April.


When I wake in the morning,
my mind is black.

Having arrived
under grander skies, I find

I’m not happier, but more in awe
of suffering. And this

is shift enough. As usual,
meaning trumps happiness.

For “meaning,” read:
“a sense of meaning;

meaningness.” I refer back
because I have to,

because the past is implicit in—
in anything. Listen:

I’m attempting to feel
two contradictory feelings.

A long breeze; the status quo.
An early snow

breaks all the trees,
which are still bright green.

Elisa Gabbert

If you like what the Rumpus is doing for National Poetry Month, you’ll probably like this multimedia anthology of original poems we’ve run at The Rumpus over the last three years. Check it out!

Brian Spears is Senior Poetry Editor of The Rumpus and the author of A Witness in Exile (Louisiana Literature Press, 2011). His poem “Upon Reading That Andromeda Will One Day Devour Triangulum and Come For Us Next” was featured in Season 9 of Motion Poems. More from this author →