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A Hole In The Floor

Written by: Richard Wilbur | Biography
 | Quotes (8) |
 for Rene Magritte

The carpenter's made a hole
In the parlor floor, and I'm standing
Staring down into it now
At four o'clock in the evening,
As Schliemann stood when his shovel
Knocked on the crowns of Troy.
A clean-cut sawdust sparkles On the grey, shaggy laths, And here is a cluster of shavings >From the time when the floor was laid.
They are silvery-gold, the color Of Hesperian apple-parings.
Kneeling, I look in under Where the joists go into hiding.
A pure street, faintly littered With bits and strokes of light, Enters the long darkness Where its parallels will meet.
The radiator-pipe Rises in middle distance Like a shuttered kiosk, standing Where the only news is night.
Here's it's not painted green, As it is in the visible world.
For God's sake, what am I after? Some treasure, or tiny garden? Or that untrodden place, The house's very soul, Where time has stored our footbeats And the long skein of our voices? Not these, but the buried strangeness Which nourishes the known: That spring from which the floor-lamp Drinks now a wilder bloom, Inflaming the damask love-seat And the whole dangerous room.



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