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ISSUE:  Winter 1945

Not feather, flight-loosened, has set this downward snow
The pattern, the pace. Curving mane of seed Drifting, gyrating, marked no course for the mind Seeing snow to follow, nor has wind flung pale bead Of blossom shattering from cherry bough As now it flings the snow.
Not though mind’s need To name and so know the frail, the exquisite thing Finds in feather, in blossom falling, in seed awing
Snow likeness, (finds it even in the faint Last finger-touch of lover on dead loved) —
No archetypes are these. Too slight, too quaint The image is that names only the grace Of snow to medicate the mind’s complaint Deep-seated, mortal, the desire to know Fully and lose its separateness so.
Deeper than flower or feather sinks the mind,
Haunted and fumbling, deeper, farther back Along its image trails than these can point,
Seeking confused and blind the ancient track Beneath all knowledge eye- and finger-sensed,
The body memory, traced when to the rack Of blood and breath time first was fit and beat A pattern in the mind with shapeless feet.
Reaching in that dim pattern its own old First foothold, the mind senses and perceives Again the effortless slow days unfold From infancy and flower and pass and pass Like flakes on the faint wind of years and hold In their frail sequence what it sought to know,
The endlessness that is the bliss of snow.


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