Minutesearchain blog
Hyperbole poems

Hyperbole for a large number by Stephen Brockwell

Hyperbole for a large number

Not the hair that you or I have touched
but the follicles all lovers hands have combed
their fingers through, that number so much
greater, say, than all the teeth from speechless

mouths that now the fish and birds
perceive as stream and garden pebbles.
Not the breaths our mother exhaled
since mud filled her father's lungs

at Amiens but all the breaths of children
put to rest since Iphigenia's sacrifice.
Not the drops of blood that have
fallen on all the battlefields of spring

but the particles of mist the sun has scattered
from them -- enough to weigh your khakis
down after a patrol, enough to resurrect
your face from its evening mask of ash.

Not the number of the stars that burn
and burn out like eyes of but the number
of the particles that give the stars their fire
surely exceeds the number of our crimes.