Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TWO SWANS, by MALCOLM COWLEY

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

TWO SWANS, by                 Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: One morning during carnival they found two
Last Line: Fixedly into a fixed and empty sky.
Subject(s): Birds; Nature; Old Age

ONE morning during Carnival they found two swans in the
Public Garden, their long necks twisted, two swans lying
splendidly dead under a magnolia

not yet in blossom and nobody ever knew why they were
killed, whether it was a drunkard, whether an old man
tired of women's bodies and wishing thus to destroy

a more impeccable beauty, or was he young (over them bends
a domino, black with white moons for buttons, while the
sky like a domino bends more vastly over).

It was a crime of passion; if I have read

of other passionate crimes in curtained alcoves,
knife or poison, they were less splendid than these two
dead swans, O less magnificent than the formal pool,
empty without them, this empty pool which stares

fixedly into a fixed and empty sky.

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