Robert Pelgrift is an editor for a legal publisher, working in New York City.  His poems have been published in various anthologies and in The Lyric, Rotary Dial, The Galway Review, The Foxglove Journal, The Waggle, Long Island Quarterly, The Eclectic Muse, Trinacria, Now Then Manchester and Blue Unicorn.

Of Gods and Heroes

This night, the line of sight of fancy sweeps
up from earth’s rim, crossing the galaxy
in a trice to the polar sky that keeps
the starry scene of an old memory.

One traces the star-trimmed Big Dipper’s side
to sight the constant center of its arc,
like mariners of olden times astride
the deck of some swift caravel or barque.

From the North Star, one steers from light to light;
from star to star one’s vision’s voyage to chart,
to draw the lines of figures of the night,
the gods and heroes of an ancient art.

A nod gives heaven this memory to hold;
these starlit memories are young and old.

Exactly Like Herself

‘. . . the joy of the artist — in the thought of . . .
how exactly like herself he had made her.’

–Henry James, “Nona Vincent”

The artist seeks to find ‘reality’ –
that which is received as ‘real.’ Some sense steers
the brush’s stroke so the painter can see –
an image will be real when it appears.

And the playwright creates the character
who, as he re-reads her part, makes him feel
joy at how like herself he has made her –
that is, how she is very like the real.

The actress just plays herself at the start,
then meeting the ‘real person’ sparks a sense
that makes a ‘copy’ and that transforms her
into the real character in the part,
and, when she’s received by the audience,
the actress has become the character.