These wonderful things
Were planted on the surface of a round mind that was to become our
....present time.
The mark of things belongs to someone
But if that somebody was wise
Then the whole of things might be different
From what it was thought to be in the beginning, before an angel
....bandaged the field glasses.
Then one could say nothing hear nothing
Of what the great time spoke to its divisors.
All borders between men were closed.
Now all is different without having changed
As though one were to pass through the same street at different times
And nothing that is old can prefer the new.
An enormous merit has been placed on the head of all things
Which, bowing down, arrive near the region of their feet
So that the earth-stone has stared at them in memory at the approach
....of an error.
Still it is not too late for these things to die
Provided that an anemone will grab them and rush them to the wildest
But having plucked oneself, who could live in the sunlight?
And the truth is cold, as a giant's knee
Will seem cold.



A last world moves on the figures;
They are smaller than when we last saw them caring about them.
The sky is a giant rocking horse
And of the other things death is a new office building filled
....with modern furniture,
A wise thing, but which has no purpose for us.

Everything is being blown away;
A little horse trots up with a letter in its mouth, which is read
....with eagerness
As we gallop into the flame.

--from A Last World; John Ashbery

No comments: