Le Livre est sur la Table

from Some Trees (1956)

	All beauty, resonance, integrity,
	Exist by deprivation or logic
	Of strange position.  This being so,
        We can only imagine a world in which a woman
	Walk and wears her hair and knows
	All that she does not know.  Yet we know
        What her breasts are.  And we give fullness
	To the dream.  The table supports the book,
	The plume leaps in the hand.  But what
        Dismal scene is this?  the old man pouting
	At a black cloud, the woman gone
	Into the house, from which the wailing starts?
        The young man places a bird-house
	Against the blue sea.  He walks away
	And it remains.  Now other
        Men appear, but they live in boxes.
	The sea protects them like a wall.
	The gods worship a line-drawing
        Of a woman, in the shadow of the sea
	Which goes on writing.  Are there
	Collisions, communications on the shore
        Or did all secrets vanish when
	The woman left?  Is the bird mentioned
	In the waves’ minutes, or did the land advance?