Web Exclusives: Poets Place

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By Roy Neil Graves ’61
Posted May 23, 2002

Princeton: 42 North West College Hall

My junior year I slept here, four floors up
in the corner room, on springs that sagged like hell.
At night I lay as close (my bunk on top)
as any confined soul to the tower bell:
From Nassau Hall, hard by, it gonged each hour,
its cupola just level with my heart,
which warred like something absolute — a power
drumming of antique youth. Taking his part
below, my Utah roommate snored the phrase
his Mormon pops had drilled his genes to snort.
Can you hear it, Paul? What horizontal days
regale us both in measures rich and short.
So now I risk these tandem flights again
and listen through our door to the space within.

Neil Graves is a professor of English at the University of Tennessee at Martin. A list of his publications can be found at his homepage, www.utm.edu/~ngraves.

To submit a poem, email us at paw@princeton.edu