"Inevitably, we'll return back home,..."
Arthur Cohen is a resident at Project HOME’s Kate’s Place. He read one of his poems, with musical accompaniment, at a special event at the Curtis Institute last April, highlighting musical and artistic collaboration between Curtis students and Project HOME residents. He has written hundreds of poems, specializing in the sonnet form. Inspired by the partnership with Curtis, he intends to develop other poems in songs.
Here is a sampling of his work, three of his sonnets.
Sonnet CCXLVIII (About Those Eyes)
Her eyes were eyes as I had never seen;
Their brownness and their roundness mesmerized;
There didn’t seem to be space in-between—
Just one large orb from two eyes, oversized.
It wasn’t just the way they looked but how—
As though they peered inside my deepest soul;
I wished to show just what I would allow,
But she could see each part and then the whole.
I loved her though I hadn’t told her so,
Preferring to keep mystery alive;
The love I had, I feared for her to know,
As then my fantasy might not survive.
Those eyes could see what words would never say,
And when she saw my love, she turned away.
I counted stars within the darkest skies,
I counted tears each time my eyes would weep,
I counted on some people who told lies,
And counted sheep until I fell to sleep.
One hundred million billion dollar bills,
Much more than any sum I'd seen before,
Came tumbling, pouring down the mountain hills,
While rumbling, roaring, falling to the shore.
And never could I count on such high hope
To free me from the depths of misery,
But now I could not comprehend the scope
Of how my life would change its history.
Yet things are seldom that which they may seem
And waking up, I sheared apart my dreams.
Sonnet CX (Renewal)
Conditions for renewal seem so right,
As stars align to signal coming change;
We sense it from their steady neon light,
So eerie, and so clearly, very strange.
The nighthawks in the tavern sit alone,
A mix of isolation and despair;
Intoxicated by the bright unknown,
Their glasses hold reflections of the air.
A pressing sense of urgency abounds,
A variation on a common theme;
It's there amidst the thoughts, the sights and sounds
Which swirl around in this collective dream.
Though navigating blindly as we roam,
Inevitably, we'll return back home.