Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, NOTES FOR THE FIRST LINE OF A SPANISH POEM, by JAMES GALVIN

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NOTES FOR THE FIRST LINE OF A SPANISH POEM, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: We remember so little
Last Line: Outside the mind, the snow undresses and lies down
Subject(s): Poetry & Poets; Writing & Writers

We remember so little,
We are certain of nothing.
We long to perish into the absolute.
Where is a mountain
To spread its snowfields for us like a shawl?

You might begin,
The men who come to see me are not exactly lovers.
Or, Seen at a distance the gazelle is blue.
That's just your way of cheering me up.

You might begin,
The quality of the telegram is vulnerable.
Or even, The spirit of the telegram is virginal.
By now I am ravenous.

You might begin,
Nothing's more passionate than a train,
Entering an enormous depot,
Empty except for two lovers, irreconcilable,
Parting. Then,
No one's more visible than a blind man on the street.

Things that are that were never meant to be!
Terrible music!

The utter confusion of surfaces!
The first steps toward probability!
You might begin,

Near the edge of the mind, the mind grows defenseless,
Sleepy in the way it sees,
Like Columbus on the edge of the world.
It feels the grip of all it cannot grasp,
Like the blind man trying to stay out of sight.
Show me any object, I'll show you rust on a wave.

You begin,

Outside the mind, the snow undresses and lies down.

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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