After the Storm

The Tragic Sense of Life in Men and Peoples
—Unamuno and I look out in tragic joy
as congregations see their floating steeples—
each steeple tossing like a leaping buoy—
and make a joyful noise unto the Lord,
and we, bereft of faith, still join the song—
it is the Word we doubt, we doubt the Word,
and we have doubted it for very long—
but if the people, tragic people, want it,
we join their joy, another name for hope,
a name that comes for tragic time to blunt it,
but let it help the tragic people cope!
They stand and look at wreckage, then recapture
—eventually—their tragic sense of rapture.

E. M. Schorb has published several collections of poetry, including Time and Fevers: New and Selected Poems (AuthorsHouse, 2004), which was chosen as a 2007 Eric Hoffer Book Award winner; A Fable & Other Prose Poems (2002), Murderer's Day (1998), winner of the Verna Emery Poetry Prize; 50 Poems (1987); and The Poor Boy and Other Poems (1975); and a chapbook, Like the Fall of Rome and Other Humanitarian Disasters (1980). He is also the author of two novels: Paradise Square, which won the International eBook Award Foundation's Frankfurt eBook Award for "Best Fiction work originally published in eBook form," and Scenario for Scorsese (both Denlinger's Publishers, 2000). His poems and prose have appeared in Best American Fantasy 2007, as well as The American Scholar, The Beloit Poetry Journal, The Chattahoochee Review, Chelsea, The Literary Review, The Massachusetts Review, The Southern Review, The Sewanee Review, The Texas Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and The Yale Review, among other journals. His honors include Fellowships in Literature from the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center and the North Carolina Arts Council, and grants from the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, the Carnegie Fund for Authors, and Robert Rauschenberg & Change, Inc. (for illustrations in The Poor Boy). He lives in Mooresville, North Carolina.