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The Room

 Through that window—all else being extinct
Except itself and me—I saw the struggle
Of darkness against darkness.
Within the room It turned and turned, dived downward.
Then I saw How order might—if chaos wished—become: And saw the darkness crush upon itself, Contracting powerfully; it was as if It killed itself, slowly: and with much pain.
The scene was pain, and nothing but pain.
What else, when chaos draws all forces inward To shape a single leaf? .
For the leaf came Alone and shining in the empty room; After a while the twig shot downward from it; And from the twig a bough; and then the trunk, Massive and coarse; and last the one black root.
The black root cracked the walls.
Boughs burst the window: The great tree took possession.
Tree of trees! Remember (when time comes) how chaos died To shape the shining leaf.
Then turn, have courage, Wrap arms and roots together, be convulsed With grief, and bring back chaos out of shape.
I will be watching then as I watch now.
I will praise darkness now, but then the leaf.

Poem by Conrad Aiken
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Book: Shattered Sighs