Tuesday 19 February 2013

Edward Dorn's Collected Poems (Carcanet, 2012), third selection

Some favourite passages from Hands Up!, 1964:

the deer eye opens in the mind
on the acoustics of the hunt....

from "The Deer's Eye the Hunter's Nose"

Walking is what I associate 
with Ledyard, distance as sheer urge....


Mystic sheer distance was in thine eye,
that beautiful abstract reckoning,
the feet, walking: for no other reason
the world.

from "Ledyard: The Exhaustion of Sheer Distance"

...for an eye to offer coherence
at times,
you have to use your head as an arbiter,
a relief, for it all.


Cheerfulness is still a misleading humor.
Much is blinding
besides the sun. Yet I am sure you see.
The hour is important.

from "The Land Below"

Fog fell down our mountain.


The day he died--
the slow quiet break. 

from "Hawthorne, End of March, 1962"

we scoured the ground of the earth
to start fires
in these rickety geographies
we knew better than to call home

from "Oh Don't Ask Why"

Finding myself in america
slowly walking around the deserted bandstand, waiting
for the decade, and the facetious new arrivals.

last lines of "A Fate of Unannounced Years"

And two passages from Nine Songs, 1965:

how long can love
suffer in the cross streets of this town
marked simply by the clicking railroad
and scratch of the janitor's broom
last lines of "3"
...sustained by the long passion for darkness
man is.
from "9"

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