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Best Famous Derek Walcott Poems

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Written by Derek Walcott | Create an image from this poem

The Sea Is History

 The Sea Is History
Written by Derek Walcott | Create an image from this poem

A Far Cry From Africa

 A wind is ruffling the tawny pelt
Of Africa, Kikuyu, quick as flies,
Batten upon the bloodstreams of the veldt.
Corpses are scattered through a paradise.
Only the worm, colonel of carrion, cries: "Waste no compassion on these separate dead!" Statistics justify and scholars seize The salients of colonial policy.
What is that to the white child hacked in bed? To savages, expendable as Jews? Threshed out by beaters, the long rushes break In a white dust of ibises whose cries Have wheeled since civilizations dawn >From the parched river or beast-teeming plain.
The violence of beast on beast is read As natural law, but upright man Seeks his divinity by inflicting pain.
Delirious as these worried beasts, his wars Dance to the tightened carcass of a drum, While he calls courage still that native dread Of the white peace contracted by the dead.
Again brutish necessity wipes its hands Upon the napkin of a dirty cause, again A waste of our compassion, as with Spain, The gorilla wrestles with the superman.
I who am poisoned with the blood of both, Where shall I turn, divided to the vein? I who have cursed The drunken officer of British rule, how choose Between this Africa and the English tongue I love? Betray them both, or give back what they give? How can I face such slaughter and be cool? How can I turn from Africa and live?
Written by Derek Walcott | Create an image from this poem

After The Storm

 There are so many islands! 
As many islands as the stars at night 
on that branched tree from which meteors are shaken 
like falling fruit around the schooner Flight.
But things must fall,and so it always was, on one hand Venus,on the other Mars; fall,and are one,just as this earth is one island in archipelagoes of stars.
My first friend was the sea.
Now,is my last.
I stop talking now.
I work,then I read, cotching under a lantern hooked to the mast.
I try to forget what happiness was, and when that don't work,I study the stars.
Sometimes is just me,and the soft-scissored foam as the deck turn white and the moon open a cloud like a door,and the light over me is a road in white moonlight taking me home.
Shabine sang to you from the depths of the sea.
Written by Derek Walcott | Create an image from this poem

The Star-Apple Kingdom

 There were still shards of an ancient pastoral 
in those shires of the island where the cattle drank 
their pools of shadow from an older sky, 
surviving from when the landscape copied such objects as 
"Herefords at Sunset in the valley of the Wye.
" The mountain water that fell white from the mill wheel sprinkling like petals from the star-apple trees, and all of the windmills and sugar mills moved by mules on the treadmill of Monday to Monday, would repeat in tongues of water and wind and fire, in tongues of Mission School pickaninnies, like rivers remembering their source, Parish Trelawny, Parish St David, Parish St Andrew, the names afflicting the pastures, the lime groves and fences of marl stone and the cattle with a docile longing, an epochal content.
And there were, like old wedding lace in an attic, among the boas and parasols and the tea-colored daguerreotypes, hints of an epochal happiness as ordered and infinite to the child as the great house road to the Great House down a perspective of casuarinas plunging green manes in time to the horses, an orderly life reduced by lorgnettes day and night, one disc the sun, the other the moon, reduced into a pier glass: nannies diminished to dolls, mahogany stairways no larger than those of an album in which the flash of cutlery yellows, as gamboge as the piled cakes of teatime on that latticed bougainvillea verandah that looked down toward a prospect of Cuyp-like Herefords under a sky lurid as a porcelain souvenir with these words: "Herefords at Sunset in the Valley of the Wye.
" Strange, that the rancor of hatred hid in that dream of slow rivers and lily-like parasols, in snaps of fine old colonial families, curled at the edge not from age of from fire or the chemicals, no, not at all, but because, off at its edges, innocently excluded stood the groom, the cattle boy, the housemaid, the gardeners, the tenants, the good Negroes down in the village, their mouth in the locked jaw of a silent scream.
A scream which would open the doors to swing wildly all night, that was bringing in heavier clouds, more black smoke than cloud, frightening the cattle in whose bulging eyes the Great House diminished; a scorching wind of a scream that began to extinguish the fireflies, that dried the water mill creaking to a stop as it was about to pronounce Parish Trelawny all over, in the ancient pastoral voice, a wind that blew all without bending anything, neither the leaves of the album nor the lime groves; blew Nanny floating back in white from a feather to a chimerical, chemical pin speck that shrank the drinking Herefords to brown porcelain cows on a mantelpiece, Trelawny trembling with dusk, the scorched pastures of the old benign Custos; blew far the decent servants and the lifelong cook, and shriveled to a shard that ancient pastoral of dusk in a gilt-edged frame now catching the evening sun in Jamaica, making both epochs one.
He looked out from the Great House windows on clouds that still held the fragrance of fire, he saw the Botanical Gardens officially drown in a formal dusk, where governors had strolled and black gardeners had smiled over glinting shears at the lilies of parasols on the floating lawns, the flame trees obeyed his will and lowered their wicks, the flowers tightened their fists in the name of thrift, the porcelain lamps of ripe cocoa, the magnolia's jet dimmed on the one circuit with the ginger lilies and left a lonely bulb on the verandah, and, had his mandate extended to that ceiling of star-apple candelabra, he would have ordered the sky to sleep, saying, I'm tired, save the starlight for victories, we can't afford it, leave the moon on for one more hour,and that's it.
But though his power, the given mandate, extended from tangerine daybreaks to star-apple dusks, his hand could not dam that ceaseless torrent of dust that carried the shacks of the poor, to their root-rock music, down the gullies of Yallahs and August Town, to lodge them on thorns of maca, with their rags crucified by cactus, tins, old tires, cartons; from the black Warieka Hills the sky glowed fierce as the dials of a million radios, a throbbing sunset that glowed like a grid where the dread beat rose from the jukebox of Kingston.
He saw the fountains dried of quadrilles, the water-music of the country dancers, the fiddlers like fifes put aside.
He had to heal this malarial island in its bath of bay leaves, its forests tossing with fever, the dry cattle groaning like winches, the grass that kept shaking its head to remember its name.
No vowels left in the mill wheel, the river.
Rock stone.
Rock stone.
The mountains rolled like whales through phosphorous stars, as he swayed like a stone down fathoms into sleep, drawn by that magnet which pulls down half the world between a star and a star, by that black power that has the assassin dreaming of snow, that poleaxes the tyrant to a sleeping child.
The house is rocking at anchor, but as he falls his mind is a mill wheel in moonlight, and he hears, in the sleep of his moonlight, the drowned bell of Port Royal's cathedral, sees the copper pennies of bubbles rising from the empty eye-pockets of green buccaneers, the parrot fish floating from the frayed shoulders of pirates, sea horses drawing gowned ladies in their liquid promenade across the moss-green meadows of the sea; he heard the drowned choirs under Palisadoes, a hymn ascending to earth from a heaven inverted by water, a crab climbing the steeple, and he climbed from that submarine kingdom as the evening lights came on in the institute, the scholars lamplit in their own aquarium, he saw them mouthing like parrot fish, as he passed upward from that baptism, their history lessons, the bubbles like ideas which he could not break: Jamaica was captured by Penn and Venables, Port Royal perished in a cataclysmic earthquake.
Before the coruscating façades of cathedrals from Santiago to Caracas, where penitential archbishops washed the feet of paupers (a parenthetical moment that made the Caribbean a baptismal font, turned butterflies to stone, and whitened like doves the buzzards circling municipal garbage), the Caribbean was borne like an elliptical basin in the hands of acolytes, and a people were absolved of a history which they did not commit; the slave pardoned his whip, and the dispossessed said the rosary of islands for three hundred years, a hymn that resounded like the hum of the sea inside a sea cave, as their knees turned to stone, while the bodies of patriots were melting down walls still crusted with mute outcries of La Revolucion! "San Salvador, pray for us,St.
Thomas, San Domingo, ora pro nobis, intercede for us, Sancta Lucia of no eyes," and when the circular chaplet reached the last black bead of Sancta Trinidad they began again, their knees drilled into stone, where Colon had begun, with San Salvador's bead, beads of black colonies round the necks of Indians.
And while they prayed for an economic miracle, ulcers formed on the municipal portraits, the hotels went up, and the casinos and brothels, and the empires of tobacco, sugar, and bananas, until a black woman, shawled like a buzzard, climbed up the stairs and knocked at the door of his dream, whispering in the ear of the keyhole: "Let me in, I'm finished with praying, I'm the Revolution.
I am the darker, the older America.
" She was as beautiful as a stone in the sunrise, her voice had the gutturals of machine guns across khaki deserts where the cactus flower detonates like grenades, her sex was the slit throat of an Indian, her hair had the blue-black sheen of the crow.
She was a black umbrella blown inside out by the wind of revolution, La Madre Dolorosa, a black rose of sorrow, a black mine of silence, raped wife, empty mother, Aztec virgin transfixed by arrows from a thousand guitars, a stone full of silence, which, if it gave tongue to the tortures done in the name of the Father, would curdle the blood of the marauding wolf, the fountain of generals, poets, and cripples who danced without moving over their graves with each revolution; her Caesarean was stitched by the teeth of machine guns,and every sunset she carried the Caribbean's elliptical basin as she had once carried the penitential napkins to be the footbath of dictators, Trujillo, Machado, and those whose faces had yellowed like posters on municipal walls.
Now she stroked his hair until it turned white, but she would not understand that he wanted no other power but peace, that he wanted a revolution without any bloodshed, he wanted a history without any memory, streets without statues, and a geography without myth.
He wanted no armies but those regiments of bananas, thick lances of cane, and he sobbed,"I am powerless, except for love.
" She faded from him, because he could not kill; she shrunk to a bat that hung day and night in the back of his brain.
He rose in his dream.
(to be continued)
Written by Derek Walcott | Create an image from this poem

Forest Of Europe

 The last leaves fell like notes from a piano
and left their ovals echoing in the ear;
with gawky music stands, the winter forest
looks like an empty orchestra, its lines
ruled on these scattered manuscripts of snow.
The inlaid copper laurel of an oak shines though the brown-bricked glass above your head as bright as whisky, while the wintry breath of lines from Mandelstam, which you recite, uncoils as visibly as cigarette smoke.
"The rustling of ruble notes by the lemon Neva.
" Under your exile's tongue, crisp under heel, the gutturals crackle like decaying leaves, the phrase from Mandelstam circles with light in a brown room, in barren Oklahoma.
There is a Gulag Archipelago under this ice, where the salt, mineral spring of the long Trail of Tears runnels these plains as hard and open as a herdsman's face sun-cracked and stubbled with unshaven snow.
Growing in whispers from the Writers' Congress, the snow circles like cossacks round the corpse of a tired Choctaw till it is a blizzard of treaties and white papers as we lose sight of the single human through the cause.
So every spring these branches load their shelves, like libraries with newly published leaves, till waste recycles them—paper to snow— but, at zero of suffering, one mind lasts like this oak with a few brazen leaves.
As the train passed the forest's tortured icons, ths floes clanging like freight yards, then the spires of frozen tears, the stations screeching steam, he drew them in a single winters' breath whose freezing consonants turned into stone.
He saw the poetry in forlorn stations under clouds vast as Asia, through districts that could gulp Oklahoma like a grape, not these tree-shaded prairie halts but space so desolate it mocked destinations.
Who is that dark child on the parapets of Europe, watching the evening river mint its sovereigns stamped with power, not with poets, the Thames and the Neva rustling like banknotes, then, black on gold, the Hudson's silhouettes? >From frozen Neva to the Hudson pours, under the airport domes, the echoing stations, the tributary of emigrants whom exile has made as classless as the common cold, citizens of a language that is now yours, and every February, every "last autumn", you write far from the threshing harvesters folding wheat like a girl plaiting her hair, far from Russia's canals quivering with sunstroke, a man living with English in one room.
The tourist archipelagoes of my South are prisons too, corruptible, and though there is no harder prison than writing verse, what's poetry, if it is worth its salt, but a phrase men can pass from hand to mouth? >From hand to mouth, across the centuries, the bread that lasts when systems have decayed, when, in his forest of barbed-wire branches, a prisoner circles, chewing the one phrase whose music will last longer than the leaves, whose condensation is the marble sweat of angels' foreheads, which will never dry till Borealis shuts the peacock lights of its slow fan from L.
A.
to Archangel, and memory needs nothing to repeat.
Frightened and starved, with divine fever Osip Mandelstam shook, and every metaphor shuddered him with ague, each vowel heavier than a boundary stone, "to the rustling of ruble notes by the lemon Neva," but now that fever is a fire whose glow warms our hands, Joseph, as we grunt like primates exchanging gutturals in this wintry cave of a brown cottage, while in drifts outside mastodons force their systems through the snow.
Written by Derek Walcott | Create an image from this poem

Dark August

 So much rain, so much life like the swollen sky
of this black August.
My sister, the sun, broods in her yellow room and won't come out.
Everything goes to hell; the mountains fume like a kettle, rivers overrun; still, she will not rise and turn off the rain.
She is in her room, fondling old things, my poems, turning her album.
Even if thunder falls like a crash of plates from the sky, she does not come out.
Don't you know I love you but am hopeless at fixing the rain ? But I am learning slowly to love the dark days, the steaming hills, the air with gossiping mosquitoes, and to sip the medicine of bitterness, so that when you emerge, my sister, parting the beads of the rain, with your forehead of flowers and eyes of forgiveness, all with not be as it was, but it will be true (you see they will not let me love as I want), because, my sister, then I would have learnt to love black days like bright ones, The black rain, the white hills, when once I loved only my happiness and you.
Written by Derek Walcott | Create an image from this poem

A Citys Death By Fire

 After that hot gospeller has levelled all but the churched sky,
I wrote the tale by tallow of a city's death by fire;
Under a candle's eye, that smoked in tears, I
Wanted to tell, in more than wax, of faiths that were snapped like wire.
All day I walked abroad among the rubbled tales, Shocked at each wall that stood on the street like a liar; Loud was the bird-rocked sky, and all the clouds were bales Torn open by looting, and white, in spite of the fire.
By the smoking sea, where Christ walked, I asked, why Should a man wax tears, when his wooden world fails? In town, leaves were paper, but the hills were a flock of faiths; To a boy who walked all day, each leaf was a green breath Rebuilding a love I thought was dead as nails, Blessing the death and the baptism by fire.
Written by Derek Walcott | Create an image from this poem

Codicil

 Schizophrenic, wrenched by two styles,
one a hack's hired prose, I earn
me exile.
I trudge this sickle, moonlit beach for miles, tan, burn to slough off this live of ocean that's self-love.
To change your language you must change your life.
I cannot right old wrongs.
Waves tire of horizon and return.
Gulls screech with rusty tongues Above the beached, rotting pirogues, they were a venomous beaked cloud at Charlotteville.
One I thought love of country was enough, now, even if I chose, there is no room at the trough.
I watch the best minds rot like dogs for scraps of flavour.
I am nearing middle age, burnt skin peels from my hand like paper, onion-thin, like Peer Gynt's riddle.
At heart there is nothing, not the dread of death.
I know to many dead.
They're all familiar, all in character, even how they died.
On fire, the flesh no longer fears that furnace mouth of earth, that kiln or ashpit of the sun, nor this clouding, unclouding sickle moon withering this beach again like a blank page.
All its indifference is a different rage.
Written by Derek Walcott | Create an image from this poem

Love After Love

 The time will come 
when, with elation 
you will greet yourself arriving 
at your own door, in your own mirror 
and each will smile at the other's welcome, 

and say, sit here.
Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine.
Give bread.
Give back your heart to itself, to the stranger who has loved you all your life, whom you ignored for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf, the photographs, the desperate notes, peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit.
Feast on your life.
Written by Derek Walcott | Create an image from this poem

Blues

 Those five or six young guys
lunched on the stoop
that oven-hot summer night
whistled me over.
Nice and friendly.
So, I stop.
MacDougal or Christopher Street in chains of light.
A summer festival.
Or some saint's.
I wasn't too far from home, but not too bright for a nigger, and not too dark.
I figured we were all one, wop, nigger, jew, besides, this wasn't Central Park.
I'm coming on too strong? You figure right! They beat this yellow nigger black and blue.
Yeah.
During all this, scared on case one used a knife, I hung my olive-green, just-bought sports coat on a fire plug.
I did nothing.
They fought each other, really.
Life gives them a few kcks, that's all.
The spades, the spicks.
My face smashed in, my bloddy mug pouring, my olive-branch jacket saved from cuts and tears, I crawled four flights upstairs.
Sprawled in the gutter, I remember a few watchers waved loudly, and one kid's mother shouting like "Jackie" or "Terry," "now that's enough!" It's nothing really.
They don't get enough love.
You know they wouldn't kill you.
Just playing rough, like young Americans will.
Still it taught me somthing about love.
If it's so tough, forget it.
Written by Derek Walcott | Create an image from this poem

In The Virgins

 You can't put in the ground swell of the organ
from the Christiansted, St.
Croix, Anglican Church behind the paratrooper's voice: "Turned cop after Vietnam.
I made thirty jumps.
" Bells punish the dead street and pigeons lurch from the stone belfry, opening their chutes, circling until the rings of ringing stop.
"Salud!" The paratrooper's glass is raised.
The congregation rises to its feet like a patrol, with scuffling shoes and boots, repeating orders as the organ thumps: "Praise Ye the Lord.
The Lord's name be praised.
" You cannot hear, beyond the quiet harbor, the breakers cannonading on the bruised horizon, or the charter engines gunning for Buck Island.
The only war here is a war of silence between blue sky and sea, and just one voice, the marching choir's, is raised to draft new conscripts with the ancient cry of "Onward, Christian Soldiers," into pews half-empty still, or like a glass, half-full.
Pinning itself to a cornice, a gull hangs like a medal from the serge-blue sky.
Are these boats all? Is the blue water all? The rocks surpliced with lace where they are moored, dinghy, catamaran, and racing yawl, nodding to the ground swell of "Praise the Lord"? Wesley and Watts, their evangelical light lanced down the mine shafts to our chapel pew, its beam gritted with motes of anthracite that drifted on us in our chapel benches: from God's slow-grinding mills in Lancashire, ash on the dead mired in Flanders' trenches, as a gray drizzle now defiles the view of this blue harbor, framed in windows where two yellow palm fronds, jerked by the wind's rain, agree like horses' necks, and nodding bear, slow as a hearse, a haze of tasseled rain, and, as the weather changes in a child, the paradisal day outside grows dark, the yachts flutter like moths in a gray jar, the martial voices fade in thunder, while across the harbor, like a timid lure, a rainbow casts its seven-colored arc.
Tonight, now Sunday has been put to rest.
Altar lights ride the black glass where the yachts stiffly repeat themselves and phosphoresce with every ripple - the wide parking-lots of tidal affluence - and every mast sways the night's dial as its needle veers to find the station which is truly peace.
Like neon lasers shot across the bars discos blast out the music of the spheres, and, one by one, science infects the stars.
Written by Derek Walcott | Create an image from this poem

Pentecost

 Better a jungle in the head
than rootless concrete.
Better to stand bewildered by the fireflies' crooked street; winter lamps do not show where the sidewalk is lost, nor can these tongues of snow speak for the Holy Ghost; the self-increasing silence of words dropped from a roof points along iron railings, direction, in not proof.
But best is this night surf with slow scriptures of sand, that sends, not quite a seraph, but a late cormorant, whose fading cry propels through phosphorescent shoal what, in my childhood gospels, used to be called the Soul.
Written by Derek Walcott | Create an image from this poem

Koening Of The River

 Koening knew now there was no one on the river.
Entering its brown mouth choking with lilies and curtained with midges, Koenig poled the shallop past the abandoned ferry and the ferry piles coated with coal dust.
Staying aboard, he saw, up in a thick meadow, a sand-colored mule, untethered, with no harness, and no signs of habitation round the ruined factory wheel locked hard in rust, and through whose spokes the vines of wild yam leaves leant from overweight; the wild bananas in the yellowish sunlight were dugged like aching cows with unmilked fruit.
This was the last of the productive mines.
Only the vegetation here looked right.
A crab of pain scuttled shooting up his foot and fastened on his neck, at the brain's root.
He felt his reason curling back like parchment in this fierce torpor.
Well, he no longer taxed and tired what was left of his memory; he should thank heaven he had escaped the sea, and anyway, he had demanded to be sent here with the others - why get this river vexed with his complaints? Koenig wanted to sing, suddenly, if only to keep the river company - this was a river, and Koenig, his name meant King.
They had all caught the missionary fever: they were prepared to expiate the sins os savages, to tame them as he would tame this river subtly, as it flowed, accepting its bends; he had seen how other missionaries met their ends - swinging in the wind, like a dead clapper when a bell is broken, if that sky was a bell - for treating savages as if they were men, and frightening them with talk of Heaven and Hell.
But I have forgotten our journey's origins, mused Koenig, and our purpose.
He knew it was noble, based on some phrase, forgotten, from the Bible, but he felt bodiless, like a man stumbling from the pages of a novel, not a forest, written a hundred years ago.
He stroked his uniform, clogged with the hooked burrs that had tried to pull him, like the other drowning hands whom his panic abandoned.
The others had died, like real men, by death.
I, Koenig, am a ghost, ghost-king of rivers.
Well, even ghosts must rest.
If he knew he was lost he was not lost.
It was when you pretended that you were a fool.
He banked and leaned tiredly on the pole.
If I'm a character called Koenig, then I shall dominate my future like a fiction in which there is a real river and real sky, so I'm not really tired, and should push on.
The lights between the leaves were beautiful, and, as in that far life, now he was grateful for any pool of light between the dull, usual clouds of life: a sunspot haloed his tonsure; silver and copper coins danced on the river; his head felt warm - the light danced on his skull like a benediction.
Koenig closed his eyes, and he felt blessed.
It made direction sure.
He leant on the pole.
He must push on some more.
He said his name.
His voice sounded German, then he said "river", but what was German if he alone could hear it? Ich spreche Deutsch sounded as genuine as his name in English, Koenig in Deutsch, and, in English, King.
Did the river want to be called anything? He asked the river.
The river said nothing.
Around the bend the river poured its silver like some remorseful mine, giving and giving everything green and white: white sky, white water, and the dull green like a drumbeat of the slow-sliding forest, the green heat; then, on some sandbar, a mirage ahead: fabric of muslin sails, spiderweb rigging, a schooner, foundered on black river mud, was rising slowly up from the riverbed, and a top-hatted native reading an inverted newspaper.
"Where's our Queen?" Koenig shouted.
"Where's our Kaiser?" The nigger disappeared.
Koenig felt that he himself was being read like the newspaper or a hundred-year-old novel.
"The Queen dead! Kaiser dead!" the voices shouted.
And it flashed through him those trunks were not wood but that the ghosts of slaughtered Indians stood there in the mangrroves, their eyes like fireflies in the green dark, and that like hummingbirds they sailed rather than ran between the trees.
The river carried him past his shouted words.
The schooner had gone down without a trace.
"There was a time when we ruled everything," Koenig sang to his corrugated white reflection.
"The German Eagle and the British Lion, we ruled worlds wider than this river flows, worlds with dyed elephants, with tassled howdahs, tigers that carried the striped shade when they rose from their palm coverts; men shall not see these days again; our flags sank with the sunset on the dhows of Egypt; we ruled rivers as huge as the Nile, the Ganges, and the Congo, we tamed, we ruled you when our empires reached their blazing peak.
" This was a small creek somewhere in the world, never mind where - victory was in sight.
Koenig laughed and spat in the brown creek.
The mosquitoes now were singing to the night that rose up from the river, the fog uncurled under the mangroves.
Koenig clenched each fist around his barge-pole scepter, as a mist rises from the river and the page goes white.
Written by Derek Walcott | Create an image from this poem

Midsummer Tobago

 Broad sun-stoned beaches.
White heat.
A green river.
A bridge, scorched yellow palms from the summer-sleeping house drowsing through August.
Days I have held, days I have lost, days that outgrow, like daughters, my harbouring arms.
Written by Derek Walcott | Create an image from this poem

R.T.S.L. (1917-1977)

 As for that other thing
which comes when the eyelid is glazed
and the wax gleam
from the unwrinkled forehead
asks no more questions
of the dry mouth,

whether they open the heart like a shirt
to release a rage of swallows,
whether the brain
is a library for worms,
on the instant of that knowledge
of the moment
when everything became so stiff,

so formal with ironical adieux,
organ and choir,
and I must borrow a black tie,
and at what moment in the oration
shall I break down and weep -
there was the startle of wings
breaking from the closing cage
of your body, your fist unclenching
these pigeons circling serenely
over the page,

and,
as the parentheses lock like a gate
1917 to 1977,
the semicircles close to form a face,
a world, a wholeness,
an unbreakable O,
and something that once had a fearful name
walks from the thing that used to wear its name,
transparent, exact representative,
so that we can see through it
churches, cars, sunlight, 
and the Boston Common,
not needing any book.