The house decided to cling to its autumnal chill today, despite the windows being open for the milder air outside. Tomorrow it should be easier to warm up, since our high is supposed to be 83. Tonight I'll be stuck with the furnace again since it's only 65 in here right now and sure to get chillier. |
Still no more walnuts for me. I heard the raccoons crunching a few last night, but I don't know where they found them as I searched carefully and saw none. Raccoons must either be able to smell them, or they have way better eyesight than I've got anymore.
One would think that with not needing to spend time shopping today, and waking up pretty early this morning, I'd have plenty of time on my hands, but I don't. Yet I can't remember getting anything done today. Time falls through the holes in my brain, I guess.
Last Monday I found out that Richard Wilbur, one of the best American poets of our time, had died the previous Saturday at the age of 96. Had I known soon enough I would have posted something of his for Sunday Verse last week. I'm doing it tonight instead, with one of my three or so favorites from his work. I've posted it before, but it's well worth repeating.
On the Marginal Way
by Richard Wilbur
for J. C. P.
Another cove of shale,
But the beach here is rubbled with strange rock
That is sleek, fluent, and taffy-pale.
I stare, reminded with a little shock
How, by a shore in Spain, George Borrow saw
A hundred women basking in the raw.
They must have looked like this,
That catch of bodies on the sand, that strew
Of rondure, crease, and orifice,
Lap, flank, and knee - a too abundant view
Which, though he'd had the lenses of a fly,
Could not have waked desire in Borrow's eye.
Has the light altered now?
The rocks flush rose and have the melting shape
Of bodies fallen anyhow.
It is a Gericault of blood and rape,
Some desert town despoiled, some caravan
Pillaged, its people murdered to a man,
And those who murdered them
Galloping off, a rumpling line of dust
Like the wave's white, withdrawing hem
But now the vision of a colder lust
Clears, as the wind goes chill and all is greyed
By a swift cloud that drags a carrion shade.
If these are bodies still,
Theirs is a death too dead to look asleep,
Like that of Auschwitz' final kill,
Poor slaty flesh abandoned in a heap
And then, like sea-rocks buried by a wave,
Bulldozed at last into a common grave.
It is not tricks of sense
But the time's fright within me which distracts
Least fancies into violence
And makes my thought take cover in the facts,
As now it does, remembering how the bed
Of layered rock two miles above my head
Hove ages up and broke
Soundless asunder, when the shrinking skin
Of Earth, blacked out by steam and smoke,
Gave passage to the muddled fire within,
Its crannies flooding with a sweat of quartz,
And lathered magmas out of deep retorts
Welled up, as here, to fill
With tumbled rockmeal, stone-fume, lithic spray,
The dike's brief chasm and the sill.
Weathered until the sixth and human day
By sanding winds and water, scuffed and brayed
By the slow glacier's heel, these forms were made
That now recline and burn
Comely as Eve and Adam, near a sea
Transfigured by the sun's return.
And now three girls lie golden in the lee
Of a great arm or thigh, and are as young
As the bright boulders that they lie among.
Though, high above the shore
On someone's porch, spread wings of newsprint flap
The tidings of some dirty war,
It is a perfect day: the waters clap
Their hands and kindle, and the gull in flight
Loses himself at moments, white in white,
And like a breaking thought
Joy for a moment floods into the mind,
Blurting that all things shall be brought
To the full state and stature of their kind,
By what has found the manhood of this stone.
May that vast motive wash and wash our own.