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La mort du soldat est près des choses naturelles. (5 mars)

Life contracts and death is expected,
As in a season of autumn.
The soldier falls.

He does not become a three-days’ personage,
Imposing his separation,
Calling for pomp.

Death is absolute and without memorial,
As in a season of autumn,
When the wind stops.

When the wind stops and, over the heavens,
The clouds go, nevertheless,
In their direction.

Wallace Stevens

wFATHER whims'

THOUGHTS

Quicksilver thoughts
Flirt with me these spring days;
Flit through my head,
Slip through my fingers;
Teasing, vanish
Before I have touched them.

But if I were a poet
I'd know a trick to catch them!
I'd catch them with a spirit noose. . .

And then I’d let the wild things go.

EARLY SPRING NIGHT

The cool spring night smells good,
Smells of the brown earth
And the strong little seeds
Pushing up through the brown earth.

My soul swells with thoughts
Impalpable,
Melancholy, exalted,
Blurring me.

The soft scarce-stirring wind moves through my hair.

Perhaps they are not thoughts,
Those impalpable things which stir my soul.
Perhaps they are my senses
Pushing up like the strong little seeds
Through the brown earth. -

MIDNIGHT RAIN

The lightning pricks my heavy eyes awake.
My body, thunderstung
Out of its sluggish sleep,
Resents this midnight waking.

But soon
The long soft sibilant rain
Brings to the night a deep new rest.

The storm recedes,
And on the far warm low voluptuous thunder
I am rolled back to sleep.

WIND AND MOON LIGHT

The Wind's a brute, a monster,
Shrieking and yelling about my house;
Tearing at the walls with frantic iron claws,
Striking with frenzied panicked paws
At my windows.

I'm glad it has no mind
As it freaks about my room
Rattling every loose thing.
And I’m glad I'm in bed,
Safe from its maniac mood.

Now it sucks my curtains out of the window
And beats them against the side of the house
And tears them.

I must get up and rescue the curtains.

At the window—incredible!—

The full moon,

Large,

In a naked sky,
Looks down serenely on the anguished trees—
The stiff creaking branches, the scurrying leaves,
Helpless, undignified, in frightened flight. ...
That monstrous moon,
That great, strong, big full moon
Who sways a million tides with a little gesture—
That powerful, insolent moon—
Looks down, and tolerates the windl
Bald sluggard moon!—lets the mad wind rage,
Countenances it!
Sheds shameless light on all its obscene passions!

God, I could hate the moon for this!
Is there no limit to indecency?

t

DEATH

To ache with unrest,

Stale-hearted, bored,
Oppressed by life, by the futile motions of people—
Their footless eagerness, their strife,
And their pale conversations—
This mood of death.

But that other thing called death,
Which crumbles us up into good rich soil,
And sprouts grass over the place
Or weeds—
What kind adjustment
That trues one nicely to the universe,
And bestows the good gift: the immortal insignificance
Of a leaf, or a grass blade,
Or one of the small stars!

Viola I. Paradise

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