Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Editing Process

While editing the manuscript, cutting a bunch of poems entirely (kill babies, sometimes), I flipped the moped, so it's gone.  I just couldn't give it the love it needed while the Vespa is still in pieces.  Had to go.  When aren't we living in metaphor?  

I also dug a few books from my car's trunk the other day.
Here's a poem from The Country of a Thousand Years of Peace, by James Merrill. 

The Lovers

They met in loving like the hands of one
Who having worked six days with creature and plant
Washes his hands before the evening meal.
Reflected in a basin out-of-doors
The golden sky receives his hands beneath
Its coldly wishing surface, washing them

Of all all perhaps but what of one another
EAch with its five felt perceptions holds:
A limber warmth, fitness of palm and nail
So long articulate in his mind before
Plunged into happening, that all the while
Water laps and loves the stirring hands

His eye has leisure for the young fruit-trees
And lowing beast secure, since night is near,
Pasture, lights of a distant town, and sky
Molten, atilt, strewn on new water, sky
In which for the last fact he dips his face
And lifts it glistening: what dark distinct

Reflections of his features upon gold!
--Except for when each slow slight water-drop
He sensed on chin and nose accumulate,
Each tiny world of sky reversed and branches,
Fell with its pure wealth to mar the image:
World after world fallen into the sky

And still so much world left when, by the fire
With fingers clasped, he set in revolution
Certitude and change like strong slow thumbs; 
Or read from an illuminated page
Of harvest, flood, motherhood, mystery:
These waited, and would issue from his hands.  


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