Posts Tagged ‘William Butler Yeats’

Descant in Song

November 2, 2009


Say frost kills flowers, kills

The roots, freezes the stem, stamen, stills all

The heliotropic dancing that a stop

Action camera might show, and so much more,

So that you can trace each petal,

As if it were an everyday flower,

As common as sunflowers are, ancient

As sunlight surely must be in descant

And song—frozen in flowers hence, hence the

Solemnity—the sun’s solemnity.

And hence our first thesis: that man is, as

It were, clapped into jail by his consciousness.

Essays, The first series. Self Reliance.

Waldo Emerson, who further notes—

The eye was placed where one ray should fall,

That it might testify of that particular ray.

Indeed. That piercing light, en passant,

Is parsed to model consciousness. You know,

The spectrum focused in the glass, the light

Starts to disperse, grows dim, exits,

Continues to exist… Ho hum… gets old.

Our reading is mendicant and sycophantic

And there is no excuse. Photosynthesis

Be damned as tiny blades take snips of sun

—That piercing light!—

Before the night comes back, as it always does,

To freeze the planet’s plants, its flowering.

Prisoners then to light the conscious mind.

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