Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TABULA RASA, by HAYDEN CARRUTH

Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

TABULA RASA, by                 Poet's Biography
First Line: There, an evening star, there again. Above
Last Line: The slate is clean. Here therefore is my kiss
Subject(s): Simplicity

There, an evening star, there again. Above
The torn lovelace of snow, in the far sky
That glows with an afterlight, fading,

The evening star piercing a black tangle
Of trees on the ridge. Shall it be our kiss?
Can we call its sudden singleness,

Its unannounced simplicity, its rage
In the abhorrent distances, its small viridine,
Ours, always ours? Or shall we say

This wintry eloquence is mere affect
Of tattered snow, of tangling black limbs?
Everything reproaches me, everything,

Because we do not stand by Leman's water,
By the onyx columns, entablatures, all
The entablatures, watching the cygnets fade

With Sapphic pathos into a silver night.
Listen, the oboe and the little drum
Make Lulliana where the old whores walk . . .

Do men and women meet and love forthwith?
Or do they think about it? Or do they
In a masque play fated figures en tragique?

Perhaps they are those who only stand
In tattered snow and dream of fated things.
The limbs have snatched the star, have eaten it.

Another night, we've lost another day. Nothing
Spoke to us, certainly nothing spoke for us --
The slate is clean. Here therefore is my kiss.

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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