Cover art by David Brendan Hopes

ABOUT David Brendan Hopes

David Brendan Hopes grew up in Northeastern Ohio, and has come to rest in western North Carolina, where he is Professor of Literature and Language at UNC Asheville. He has written extensively about both nature and art, and is currently pursuing a career as a playwright, which the skills of a poet make easier than it might otherwise be. Winner of the Juniper and Saxifrage prizes in poetry, he is founder and artistic director of the Black Swan Theater.

Pecan Grove Press

A Dream of Adonis

David Brendan Hopes

ISBN: 1-978931247-42-9 $15

"What a fierce energy impels these poems! Alternately ecstatic and grounded, timeless and quotidian, of violence and beauty, of fire and weariness, the poems finally are a paean to love in the larger spiritual sense. No flashy postmodern superficial linguistics here...but words hurled from the center of a soul that accepts, no, even seeks out life’s most intense passions. Dave Hopes shapes from the ‘thin bone, blown fluff, smoke’ of his spirit poems that insist on no less than saving his own life...and perhaps yours, too."
—Patricia Fargnoli, poet, New Hampshire Poet Laureate

"Award-winning playwright, memoirist, and fiction writer, actor, singer, and painter, David Hopes, in this new book, A Dream of Adonis, takes up the task again that was first and always his: composing fiery poems of love and despair, rage and hope. “Where this gush, this white rush/comes from at my age I do not ask,” Hopes writes in “After Hours of Writing Poems at Bent Creek.” Haunted but not diminished by aging, Hopes is working at the height of his power. In one poem he warns the “weaklings” of the Pentagon and White House to “find some hole to hide in” for when he’s finished “uttering curses” “the mountains will begin to speak after me,/and heaven, then, or earth will hold no sanctuary.” In another, a blistering satire, Hopes writes of «the giants of the former time”—Blake, Keats, Yeats—who «flail their ruinous arms and roar» in response to the «prozac moderato» verse of our time. But in the end it’s love that calls Hopes to song, to create for us of breathtaking words alone «the sound love makes upon the lyre.»
—Richard Chess, Director, the Center for Jewish Studies and Professor, Literature and Language, at the University of North Carolina, Asheville

A Man Moving Toward His Prime
	          Roisin Dubh, Galway


Tell them they would get more poets in here
If they turned the music down.


A man moving toward his prime
has a few things to consider.
When to allow himself to be seen weeping.

Stroking the hair of the beautiful children,
letting them who watch extrude the gesture
through their innocence, their shame.

When to point at the shape in the water
and shout, when but to watch
the gray seal cruising before night,
two silent hearts under the
dark crook of the heron,
amid the white flash
of the fish of the rivermouth.

how I love you. . . how I love you
heart sings over and over.
When to let that pass,
when to make it open like the blast
through the seabird’s bill,
haunting and turbulent,
impossible to locate.

"Van Morrison doesn’t sing so well after all”
says one boy to another at the bar.

A man moving toward his prime
would not think such a thought.

But bellow up there on the hill
between the water and the gray stone.
Scatter the magpies.
Ripple the Corrib away from you
so the gray seal feels you, though he hunts alone.


Considers the moments
so beautiful the uttering thereof is absurd:
Nimmo’s Quay at twilight, the gray seal
after salmon in the river,
the terns and cormorants following the bright road of it,
heron homing over the deep, one shadow,
the flash of the fish,
wavelets white between the wind 
and the powers of the deep.

Looks back to the dark town
brightening from inside, to the
single scallop of light high over. 
Those voices. The stories taken up again.
The word you know for “home”;
the word unknown to say why you were born
so far from it.
He is the one who stands his ground.

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Most recent revision
November 11, 2003

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