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Six Significant Landscapes

by
I
An old man sits
In the shadow of a pine tree
In China.
He sees larkspur, Blue and white, At the edge of the shadow, Move in the wind.
His beard moves in the wind.
The pine tree moves in the wind.
Thus water flows Over weeds.
II The night is of the colour Of a woman's arm: Night, the female, Obscure, Fragrant and supple, Conceals herself.
A pool shines, Like a bracelet Shaken in a dance.
III I measure myself Against a tall tree.
I find that I am much taller, For I reach right up to the sun, With my eye; And I reach to the shore of the sea With my ear.
Nevertheless, I dislike The way ants crawl In and out of my shadow.
IV When my dream was near the moon, The white folds of its gown Filled with yellow light.
The soles of its feet Grew red.
Its hair filled With certain blue crystallizations From stars, Not far off.
V Not all the knives of the lamp-posts, Nor the chisels of the long streets, Nor the mallets of the domes And high towers, Can carve What one star can carve, Shining through the grape-leaves.
VI Rationalists, wearing square hats, Think, in square rooms, Looking at the floor, Looking at the ceiling.
They confine themselves To right-angled triangles.
If they tried rhomboids, Cones, waving lines, ellipses -- As, for example, the ellipse of the half-moon -- Rationalists would wear sombreros.

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