This is the official site of Allen Grossman, poet of
love, holiness, and mortality. Here you'll find poems, biography and bibliography.
Poetry is a principle of power invoked by all of us against our
vanishing. The making of poems is a practice – a work
human beings can do – in which civilization has invested some part of
its love of itself and the world. The poem is a trace of the will of
all persons to be known and to make known and, therefore, to be at
all. Insofar as love wills the existence of what it loves, the
principle of poetry is a collective and perpetually renewed act of
love that brings the world to mind, and mind to mind, as the speech of
a person – at the moment of the vanishing of world and persons, which
is every moment of conscious life. Poetry is one means by which human
beings engage, as they can, in the maintenance of a human world in
which they can meet one another, affirm one another, remember, see,
and foresee one another.
June 27, 2014 - Allen has passed away.
There will be a memorial event at Brandeis University in October.
A great light is the man who knows the woman he loves
A great light is the woman who knows the man she loves
And carries the light into room after room arousing
The sleepers and looking hard into the face of each
And then sends them asleep again with a kiss
Or a whole night of love
and goes on and on until
The man and woman who carry the great lights of the
Knowledge of the one lover enter the room
Their light is sent and fit the one and the other torch
In a high candelabrum and there is such light
That children leap up
unless the sea swallow them
In the crossing or hatred or war against which do not
Pray only but be vigilant and set your hand to the work.