Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, I'VE NEVER SEEN SUCH A REAL HARD TIME BEFORE', by HAYDEN CARRUTH



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I'VE NEVER SEEN SUCH A REAL HARD TIME BEFORE', by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Having planted our little northern spy at the wrong season
Last Line: This song is a wave forever rolling among the stars
Subject(s): Atoms


Having planted our little Northern Spy at the wrong season,
Having pruned it in trepidation and ignorance, having watched it
Do nothing at all for a month in the drought-burned, weedy wasteland
Of the front yard -- that prefiguring desolation! -- now I am
Uplifted truly and in glory
By the sapling's big new leaves and its stems lengthening,
And my mind carries everywhere I go this image of a pale green upsprouting
In the form of a fountain, a small, natural, simple fountain:

And having learned at last, from an intelligent and willing young man
Behind the counter at Superior Sound, Inc., on East Erie Boulevard,
The conclusive difference between a ceramic and a magnetic
Cartridge for my stereo turntable,
Having placed this sparkle of knowledge in my mind like a jewel on a dark velvet
ground,
I glance at it hundreds of times in passing, so to speak,
With a little thrill of gratification for its novelty, its actuality,
And especially for its purity, its unfailing, useless betokening of what is:

And every day these twinges of pain in my heart, that muscle unenvisionable,
Draining me downward like the "flow of atoms" into cool organic earth,
The quicksand,
Downward in this strange new fluidity, this impersonal dissolution,
Drawn by an energy somehow inside me and yet not mine --
How stunning the methodical magnitudes of force! --
Make me wonder, abstractedly, about the pulverization of the soul,
About vast windy scattering wastes of crumbled joys and drifting knowledge,
about what becomes
Of all the disjuncted dregs of consciousness:

This song is a wave rolling forever among the stars.


Used with the permission of Copper Canyon Press, P.O. Box 271, Port Townsend, WA
98368-0271, www.cc.press.org




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