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See me! My hair is dripping with nectar— Starlings carry it On their black wings. See, at last My arms and my hands Are lying idle.

How can I tell
If I shall ever love you again
As I do now?


What fool would feel

His cheeks burn
Because of the snow?

Would he call it
By a name, give it
Breasts, features,
Bare limbs?
Would he call it
A woman?
(Surely then he would be
A fool.)

And see her, Warmed with the cold,


Go upon the heads
Of creatures
Whose faces lean
To the ground?

Would he watch
The compassion of
Her eyes,
That look, now up
Now down,
To the turn of
The wind and
The turn of
The shivering minds
She touches—
Motionless—troubled 2

I ask you—
I ask you, my townspeople,
What fool is this?

Would he forget
The sight of
His mother and
His wife
Because of her?—
Have his heart
Turned to ice
That will not soften ?

Would he see a thing
Lovelier than
A high-school girl,
With the skill
Of Venus
To stand naked—
Naked on the air?

Falling snow and
you up there—waiting.


So different, this man And this woman:

A stream flowing
In a field.


Why do I write today?
The beauty of
The terrible faces
Of our nonentities
Stirs me to it:


Colored women
Day workers,
Old and experienced,
Returning home at dusk
In cast-off clothing,
Faces like
Old Florentine oak.

The set pieces
Of your faces stir me—
Leading citizens:
But not
In the same way.

V : A

Wanderer moon,
A faintly ironical smile
At this brilliant,
Summer morning—
A detached,
Sleepily indifferent
A wanderer's smile—

If I should

Buy a shirt
Your color, and
Put on a necktie

Where would they carry me?
Over the hills and
Far away?
Where would they carry me?


How times change, old friend, And how little anything changes!

We used to collect butterflies
And insects in Kipp's woods—
Do you remember?
Now this wonderful collection
From the Amazon
Comes quite naturally
For you to weigh and to classify.

Quiet and unnoticed The flower of your whole life Has opened its perfect petals— And none to witness, save one Old worshipper! William Carlos Williams [86] - - --------

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