These
are the desolate, dark weeks
when nature in its barrenness
equals the stupidity of man.
 
The year plunges into night
and the heart plunges
lower than night
 
to an empty, windswept place
without sun, stars or moon
but a peculiar light as of thought
 
that spins a dark fire—
whirling upon itself until,
in the cold, it kindles
 
to make a man aware of nothing
that he knows, not loneliness
itself– Not a ghost but
 
would be embraced– emptiness,
despair– (They
whine and whistle) among
 
the flashes and booms of war;
houses of whose rooms
the cold is greater than can be thought,
 
the people gone that we loved,
the beds lying empty, the couches
damp, the chairs unused—
 
Hide it away somewhere
out of the mind, let it get roots
and grow, unrelated to jealous
 
ears and eyes– for itself.
In this mine they come to dig– all.
Is this the counterfoil to sweetest
 
music? The source of poetry that
seeing the clock stopped, says,
The clock has stopped
 
that ticked yesterday so well?
and hears the sound of lakewater
splashing– that is now stone.

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