Donald Hall |
Katie could put her feet behind her head
Or do a grand plié, position two,
Her suppleness magnificent in bed.
I strained my lower back, and Katie bled,
Only a little, doing what we could do
When Katie tucked her feet behind her head.
Her torso was a C-cup'd figurehead,
Wearing below its navel a tattoo
That writhed in suppleness upon the bed.
As love led on to love, love's goddess said,
"No lovers ever fucked as fucked these two!
Katie could put her feet behind her head!"
When Katie came she never stopped.
She came, cried "God!," and came, this dancer who
Brought ballerina suppleness to bed.
She curled her legs around my neck, which led
To depths unplumbed by lovers hitherto.
Katie could tuck her feet behind her head
And by her suppleness unmake the bed.
Delmore Schwartz |
Remember midsummer: the fragrance of box, of white
And of phlox.
And upon a honeysuckle branch
Three snails hanging with infinite delicacy
-- Clinging like tendril, flake and thread, as self-tormented
And self-delighted as any ballerina,
just as in the orchard,
Near the apple trees, in the over-grown grasses
Drunken wasps clung to over-ripe pears
Which had fallen: swollen and disfigured.
For now it is wholly autumn: in the late
Afternoon as I walked toward the ridge where the hills
There is a whir, a thrashing in the bush, and a startled
pheasant, flying out and up,
Suddenly astonished me, breaking the waking dream.
Snatches of sleep, streaked by dreams and half dreams
- So that, aloft in the dim sky, for almost an hour,
A sausage balloon - chalk-white and lifeless looking--
Until, at midnight, I went to New Bedlam and saw what I
the most - I heard nothing, but it
had all happened several times elsewhere.
Now, in the cold glittering morning, shining at the
The pears hang, yellowed and over-ripe, sodden brown in
erratic places, all bunched and dangling,
Like a small choir of bagpipes, silent and waiting.
Go to the window and gaze at the fallen or falling country
-- And see! -- the fields are pencilled light brown
or are the dark brownness of the last autumn
-- So much has shrunken to straight brown lines, thin as
bare thin trees,
Save where the cornstalks, white bones of the lost forever dead,
Shrivelled and fallen, but shrill-voiced when the wind
Are scattered like the long abandoned hopes and ambitions
Of an adolescence which, for a very long time, has been
A recurrent target and taunt of the inescapable mockery of
Delmore Schwartz |
News of the Gold World of May in Holland Michigan:
"Wooden shoes will clatter again
on freshly scrubbed streets--"
The tulip will arise and reign again from awnings and
of all colors and forms
its vine, verve and valentine curves
upon the city streets, the public grounds
and private lawns
(wherever it is conceivable
that a bulb might take root
and the two lips, softly curved, come up
possessed by the skilled love and will of a ballerina.
The citizens will dance in folk dances.
They will thump, they will pump,
thudding and shoving
elbow and thigh,
bumping and laughing, like barrels and bells.
Vast fields of tulips in full bloom,
the reproduction of a miniature Dutch village,
part of a gigantic flower show.