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BOGAN, Louise


To me one silly task is like another.

I bare the shambling tricks of lust and pride.

This flesh will never give a child its mother,-

Song like a wing tears through my breast, my side,

And madness chooses out my voice again,

Again I am the chosen no hand saves:

The shrieking heaven lifted over men,

Not the dumb earth wherein they set their graves.

After The Persian


I have wept with the spring storm;

Burned with the brutal summer.

Now, hearing the wind and the twanging bow-strings

I know what winter brings.

The hunt sweeps out upon the plain

And the garden darkens.

They will bring the trophies home

To bleed and perish

Beside the trellis and the lattices,

Beside the fountain, still flinging diamond water,

Beside the pool

(Which is eight-sided, like my heart).

All has been translated into treasure:

Weightless as amber,

Translucent as the currant on the branch,

Dark as the rose's thorn.

Where is the shimmer of evil?

This is the shell's iridescence

And the wild bird's wing.

Ignorant, I took up my burden in the wilderness.

Wise with great wisdom, I shall lay it down upon flowers.

Goodbye, goodbye!

There was so much to love, I could not love it all;

I could not love it enough.

Some things I overlooked, and some I could not find.

Let the crystal clasp them

When you drink your wine, in autumn.