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Robert Frosts's Bequest

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Robert Frosts's Bequest

It's back...
that cold, wet lump
within the mind,
that Frost had known so well.
It bids me close my eyes
look at my hands--
then open them, repelled;
they do not sculpt as his,
nor dare to hold the clay.
His day enlightened yet
by suns still burning down
upon the coverlet of sod
that will not seal the eloquence
of his poetic grace. 

It is I
who ill affords the privilege
of suffering--the light
beneath my stone,
the brightness of a legend
in my youth, the triumph
of the one who found in loss
poetic deity, who flashed
the image of his mind to me
behind the rostrum
on that day with JFK.

It is the gnarled earth he leaves
upon our pedestal,
to grope and turn,
and turn away, remembering
the wall, the woods, the whiteness
of the birches—
the man who loved the clay,
installed it in our consciousness
as one who used remembering
to guide his hands, his pen, and mine; 
then I may close my eyes           
and see.

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