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Landscape of the Mind

ISSUE:  Spring 1941

When I had seen the withering grass,
I wished for crystal in its leaf.
I saw the swan, death-loving, pass,
And watched the pole star of belief
Shift and swing in a golden arc
Till I was sure the earth was turned
In a mad whirl of light and dark
Whose senseless course I had not learned.
So I wished permanence in things,
The emerald leaf blown in the night;
I dressed the birds in armored wings
And tossed the dead rose out of sight.
When I had girded time with stone,
I still smelled chaos in the wind,
Creation burning at my bone,
Shaking the landscape of my mind.
Death was the crystal in my thought
And shaped the contours of my brain;
The emerald leaf that I had caught
Bore autumn’s brown and yellow stain.


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