Charles Bernstein: “Misfortune”

Charles Bernstein


after Nerval’s “El Desdichado”

My morning star’s dead and my disconsolate lute
Smashes in the blackened sun of torn alibi.
In the tomb of every night, memories of
Venetian reveries raw rub the inconsolable
Pitch of the dark, where over and again
I love you.



Charles Bernstein lives in New York and is the Donald T. Regan Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Pennsylvania, as well as coeditor of  L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E, the Electronic Poetry Center, and PennSound and cofounder of the SUNY-Buffalo Poetics Program. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Among his many publications are three books also published by the University of Chicago Press: Girly Man,With Strings, and My Way: Speeches and Poems.