Click here to visit Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky’s Favorite Poem Project.
To hear the poet read “The Drummer Boy,” click here.
Oh what a sleepy night! The eyelids are drooping, the shoulders are slumped, the nostrils are wheezing. And Tommy the miniature drummer boy statue is yawning in the haystack where he landed last night when the farmboy hurled him into the dark sky. And now above the new-mown fields the stars burst into the drummer boy’s brain and rain silver fear into his nervous system. He will have to get used to the fact that–oh, it makes me tired just to think of it–the fact that there are so many miles between him and the stars that are so immense but look so small and may not even be there anymore, just as he is not there anymore for the farmboy, the boy who himself will soon be leaving home.