I’m reading Paul Zweig. This is the fifteenth poem in the third (“Eternity’s Woods”) section of his Selected and Last Poems, followed by my response. See here for details on this experiment in responsive reading. I’ll remove Zweig’s poems after a week or so to prevent egregious copyright infringement.
Bless the Earth, Bless the Fire
by Paul Zweig
Here is the wanderer with
His unwrapped soul, his parcels of pure voice …
* * * *
I sit as stolidly as a column of cold ash,
longing for a bell’s clapper, or the skin
of a drum that shivers under the blows
of a pair of brushes. I have held
this shape too long, I tell myself.
The fine teeth of my thoughts
are through with falling.
Across the lawn, the French lilac
still glows green against the gray trees
as if summer could last forever –
as if a craze of twigs were some disgrace,
& not the soul’s own map –
& I feel a sigh coming toward me
from the edge of the world.
Grain by grain,
the shadows are losing their firm outlines.
The sun buries itself in a white sand sky.