Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Poetry, a Natural Thing by Robert Duncan

Poetry, a Natural Thing

Neither our vices nor our virtues   
further the poem. “They came up   
      and died 
just like they do every year 
      on the rocks.” 
      The poem 
feeds upon thought, feeling, impulse, 
      to breed    itself, 
a spiritual urgency at the dark ladders leaping. 
This beauty is an inner persistence 
      toward the source 
striving against (within) down-rushet of the river,   
      a call we heard and answer 
in the lateness of the world 
      primordial bellowings 
from which the youngest world might spring, 
salmon not in the well where the   
      hazelnut falls 
but at the falls battling, inarticulate,   
      blindly making it. 
This is one picture apt for the mind. 
A second: a moose painted by Stubbs, 
where last year’s extravagant antlers   
      lie on the ground. 
The forlorn moosey-faced poem wears   
      new antler-buds, 
      the same, 
“a little heavy, a little contrived”, 
his only beauty to be   
      all moose.

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