Collected Poems 1931-74



AT RHODES Anonymous hand, record one afternoon, In May, some time before the fig-leaf: Boats lying idle in the sky, a town Thrown as on a screen of watered silk, Lying on its side, reddish and soluble, A sheet of glass leading down into the sea … Down here an idle boy catches a cicada: Imprisons it, laughing, in his sister’s cloak In whose warm folds the silly creature sings. Shape of boats, body of a young girl, cicada, Conspire and join each other here, In twelve sad lines against the dark. — location: 3638 ^ref-47841

A WINTER OF VAMPIRES From a winter of vampires he selects one, Takes her to a dark house, undresses her: It is not at all how the story-books say But another kind of reversed success. A transaction where the words themselves Begin to bleed first and everything else follows. The dissolution of the egg In the mind of the lady suggests new Paths to follow, less improbable victories, Just as illusory as the old, I fear. Well, but when the embraces go astray, When you finger the quick recipes Of every known suggestion, why, The whole prosperity of the flesh may be in question. 1973/1971 — location: 5601 ^ref-3103

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