ted morrissey


I grasped your absence, the sudden
ceasing of a strong breeze,
a winter and a spring and a thickening
summer later—before the home of
a poet, long dead, who calls visitors
from afar. Small in number but devoted
to their pilgrimage and their modest
homage to his Gospel of Beauty.
It unsteadied me for a moment, like
a blind blow to the knees: You would
call no more. Your plain and quiet voice
of reason would call no more. I looked
toward the poet’s home, where pilgrims
entered seeking something lingering still.

Ted Morrissey is a novelist whose poetry has been in the service of his prose, but in 2016 he began writing sonnets in response to his father’s sudden passing, the “Laertes Sequence.” His novel Crowsong for the Stricken won the International Book Award in Literary Fiction, as well as the American Fiction Award, from Book Fest 2018, and it was a Kirkus Reviews Best Indie Book of 2017. His most recent novel is Mrs Saville. Another “Laertes Sequence” sonnet is forthcoming in Bellevue Literary Review. He’s a lecturer in Lindenwood University’s MFA in Writing program. Visit at tedmorrissey.com, follow @t_morrissey.