Cecil, Richard

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Annotated by:
Dittrich, Lisa
  • Date of entry: Jun-03-1998
  • Last revised: Jun-28-2006


The poem describes how drinking skewed the speaker’s perspective on life (blurring night and day distinctions, etc.) and isolated him from others. The poem goes on to illuminate the speaker’s recovery, the result not of an Alcoholics Anonymous-type "higher power" but of the speaker’s own dark epiphany: "I recognized the night as night and chose it."


This poem captures--in metaphor--the isolation of the addict, the false, cushioning comfort the addictive substance provides, and how addiction separates the addict from "ordinary life." But the importance of the poem is the speaker’s final commitment to abstinence and survival that comes NOT because he has "seen the light" (or the Light) but because he is willing to courageously confront the darkness within and without.

Primary Source

Einstein's Brain


Univ. of Utah Press

Place Published

Salt Lake City, Utah