Down in the cellar there's a household god.
He is drinking up the planet.
He has little eyes in his belly,
Which are his thoughts,
Evidence that he may be thinking.
One, then another.
Sometimes two at a time.
He's sometimes humming a little.
Maybe the music of his little
Lights is the way, sometimes,
Someone who eats alone,
No wife, no boyfriend, no girlfriend,
Hums to himself.
Or talks to himself alone.
David Ferry’s collected poems in French, Qui est là? (translated by Peter Brown, Emmanuel Merle, and Caroline Talpe), was published in 2018 by La rumeur libre. Ferry’s translation of Virgil’s Aeneid was published in 2017 by the University of Chicago Press. He received the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize for Lifetime Achievement in 2011, and the National Book Award in 2012 for his collection Bewilderment. He is a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Suffolk University.