Poetry: “Strange” by Josephine Pinckney

Reading. Writing. Literature. Bloggging.

I like this poem, and Tony Hoagland’s “Jet” reminds me of it, too. Sometimes we cannot explain anything in this world to each other, even though things are so tangible, like a “marsh under the moon.” Josephine Pinckney’s “Strange” nails that feeling. In the past, I have talked about the power of poetry in conveying feelings we cannot often place, and that is really why I feel grateful when I come across a poem like this.

Communicating with people is hard–even if we know and love them (or even if we don’t)–and even though the yearning for connection is there in front of us, often it’s just too impossible to get over that wall and safely down to the other side.


We believed
That the tides of our being
Set to each other.

But when we came to speak,
There was a distance between us
More wide and strange
Than the silvery waste
Of the marsh under the moon.

And your voice came
From that untrodden stillness
Like the calling of some marsh creature

And I, too, was dumb—frozen,
Like the flood-tide
And moon-silent marsh.

(Josephine Pinckney)

Works Cited

“Strange : Pinckney, Josephine : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive.” Internet Archive, 1 July 1921, archive.org/details/jstor-20573153/page/n1/mode/2up.