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Friday, April 8, 2011

The Mysterious Thing

(Léonie Adams, poet laureate, 1948-1949)


What plummet, seas, to sound you —
All the long reaches spun out silver-white,
Turn you and cast drowned riches?
Or how again, O velvet night,
When the sky, stooping with its glittering load,
About the elf-locks of the curious grass
Scatters its sparklings, will you part almost
Upon the quintessential host?

Or how the figment spirit, sleeping,
Can it render body, ghost,
In its dream unseat the heavy monarch,
Conjure to the bleak wild coast
Its sunk, its deep delight,
Its night and mist divide, recall how flitting
Above the pallid thing,
Joy has an azure wing?

~ Léonie Adams (1899-1988), American poet and editor

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