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The Blue Swallows

Written by: Howard Nemerov | Biography
 | Quotes (9) |
 Across the millstream below the bridge 
Seven blue swallows divide the air 
In shapes invisible and evanescent, 
Kaleidoscopic beyond the mind’s 
Or memory’s power to keep them there.
“History is where tensions were,” “Form is the diagram of forces.
” Thus, helplessly, there on the bridge, While gazing down upon those birds— How strange, to be above the birds!— Thus helplessly the mind in its brain Weaves up relation’s spindrift web, Seeing the swallows’ tails as nibs Dipped in invisible ink, writing… Poor mind, what would you have them write? Some cabalistic history Whose authorship you might ascribe To God? to Nature? Ah, poor ghost, You’ve capitalized your Self enough.
That villainous William of Occam Cut out the feet from under that dream Some seven centuries ago.
It’s taken that long for the mind To waken, yawn and stretch, to see With opened eyes emptied of speech The real world where the spelling mind Imposes with its grammar book Unreal relations on the blue Swallows.
Perhaps when you will have Fully awakened, I shall show you A new thing: even the water Flowing away beneath those birds Will fail to reflect their flying forms, And the eyes that see become as stones Whence never tears shall fall again.
O swallows, swallows, poems are not The point.
Finding again the world, That is the point, where loveliness Adorns intelligible things Because the mind’s eye lit the sun.



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