November 1999

Daniel Mark Epstein

Daniel Mark Epstein Daniel Mark Epstein's books of poetry include The Boy in the Well (1995), Spirits (1987), and The Book of Fortune (1982), all available from Overlook Press. His play, The Leading Lady, was recently produced in Baltimore, and his biography of Nat King Cole was published this fall by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.

Heaven's Neighbors    Click to hear in real audio

     After Victor Hugo

Death and Beauty, see how these goddesses cast 
So much light and shade, a wise man might say 
They were sisters, both bountiful, frightful, vast, 
Guarding the same enigma and mystery. 

O ladies, dark and fair, sing, dance and be 
Brilliant now, hypnotize me, make the most 
Of love! For I am dying. O pearls of the sea, 
O luminous birds of the melancholy coast... 

Judith, who would have dreamed our destinies 
Could ever draw us together—and you so young? 
Your eyes are the blue of some divine abyss 

While mine show a starry chasm, moonless and cold. 
We shall be Heaven's neighbors as long 
As you are beautiful, and I am old.



Daniel Mark Epstein: Poetry
Copyright 1999 The Cortland Review Issue NineThe Cortland Review