Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

CREDENCES OF SUMMER, by         Recitation by Author         Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: Now in midsummer come and all fools slaughtered
Subject(s): Summer


I
Now in midsummer come and all fools slaughtered
And spring's infuriations over and a long way
To the first autumnal inhalations, young broods
Are in the grass, the roses are heavy with a weight
Of fragrance and the mind lays by its trouble.
Now the mind lays by its trouble and considers.
The fidgets of remembrance come to this.
This is the last day of a certain year
Beyond which there is nothing left of time.
It comes to this and the imagination's life.
There is nothing more inscribed nor thought nor felt
And this must comfort the heart's core against
Its false disasters- these fathers standing round.
These mothers touching, speaking, being near.
These lovers waiting in the soft dry grass.
Postpone the anatomy of summer, as
The physical pine, the metaphysical pine.
Let's see the very thing and nothing else.
Let's see it with the hottest fire of sight.
Burn everything not part of it to ash.
Trace the gold sun about the whitened sky
Without evasion by a single metaphor.
Look at it in its essential barrenness
And say this, this is the centre that I seek.
Fix it in an eternal foliage
And fill the foliage with arrested peace,
Joy of such permanence, right ignorance
Of change still possible. Exile desire
For what is not. This is the banenness
Of the fertile thing that can attain no more.
It is the natural tower of all the world,
The point of survey, green's green apogee.
But a tower more precious than the view beyond,
A point of survey squatting like a throne,
Axis of everything, green's apogee
And happiest folk-land, mostly marriage-hymns.
It is the mountain on which the tower stands.
It is the final mountain. Here the sun.
Sleepless, inhales his proper air, and rests.
This is the refuge that the end creates.
It is the old man standing on the tower,
Who reads no book. His ruddy ancientness
Absorbs the ruddy summer and is appeased.
By an understanding that fulfils his age.
By a feeling capable of nothing more.
IV
One of the limits of reality
Presents itself in Oley when the hay.
Baked through long days, is piled in mows. It is
A land too ripe for enigmas, too serene.
There the distant fails the clairvoyant eye
And the secondary senses of the ear
Swarm, not with secondary sounds, but choirs.
Not evocations but last choirs, last sounds
With nothing else compounded, carried full.
Pure rhetoric of a language without words.
Things stop in that direction and since they stop
The direction stops and we accept what is
As good. The utmost must be good and is
And is our fortune and honey hived in the trees
And mingling of colors at a festival.
V
One day enriches a year. One woman makes
The rest look down. One man becomes a race.
Lofty like him, like him perpetual.
Or do the other days enrich the one?
And is the queen humble as she seems to be,
The charitable majesty of her whole kin?
The bristling soldier, weather-foxed, who looms
In the sunshine is a filial form and one
Of the land's children, easily born, its flesh.
Not fustian. The more than casual blue
Contains the year and other years and hymns
And people, without souvenir. The day
Enriches the year, not as embellishment.
Stripped of remembrance, it displays its strength-
The youth, the vital son, the heroic power.
VI
The rock cannot be broken. It is the tmth.
It rises from land and sea and covers them.
It is a mountain half way green and then.
The other immeasurable half, such rock
As placid air becomes. But it is not
A hermit's truth nor symbol in hermitage.
It is the visible rock, the audible.
The brilliant mercy of a sure repose.
On this present ground, the vividest repose,
Things certain sustaining us in certainty.
It is the rock of summer, the extreme,
A mountain luminous half way in bloom
And then half way in the extremest light
Of sapphires flashing from the central sky.
As if twelve princes sat before a king.
VII
Far in the woods they sang their unreal songs,
Secure. It was difficult to sing in face
Of the object. The singers had to avert themselves
Or else avert the object. Deep in the woods
They sang of summer in the common fields.
They sang desiring an object that was near,
In face of which desire no longer moved.
Nor made of itself that which it could not find . . .
Three times the concentred self takes hold, three times
The thrice concentred self, having possessed
The object, grips it in savage scrutiny.
Once to make captive, once to subjugate
Or yield to subjugation, once to proclaim
The meaning of the capture, this hard prize.
Fully made, fully apparent, fully found.
The trumpet of morning blows in the clouds and through
The sky. It is the visible announced.
It is the more than visible, the more
Than sharp, illustrious scene. The trumpet cries
This is the successor of the invisible.
This is its substitute in stratagems
Of the spirit. This, in sight and memory,
Must take its place, as what is possible
Replaces what is not. The resounding cry
Is like ten thousand tumblers tumbling down
To share the day. The trumpet supposes that
A mind exists, aware of division, aware
Of its cry as clarion, its diction's way
As that of a personage in a multitude:
Man's mind grown venerable in the unreal.
Fly low, cock bright, and stop on a bean pole. Let
Your brown breast redden, while you wait for warmth.
With one eye watch the willow, motionless.
The gardener's cat is dead, the gardener gone
And last year's garden grows salacious weeds.
A complex of emotions falls apart.
In an abandoned spot. Soft, civil bird.
The decay that you regard: of the arranged
And of the spirit of the arranged, douceurs,
Tristesses, the fund of life and death, suave bush
And polished beast, this complex falls apart.
And on your bean pole, it may be, you detect
Another complex of other emotions, not
So soft, so civil, and you make a sound.
Which is not part of the listener's own sense.
X
The personae of summer play the characters
Of an inhuman author, who meditates
With the gold bugs, in blue meadows, late at night.
He does not hear his characters talk. He sees
Them mottled, in the moodiest costumes,
Of blue and yellow, sky and sun, belted
And knotted, sashed and seamed, half pales of red.
Half pales of green, appropriate habit for
The huge decorum, the manner of the time.
Part of the mottled mood of summer's whole.
Free, for a moment, from malice and sudden cry.
Complete in a completed scene, speaking
Their parts as in a youthful happiness.





Discover our Poem Explanations and Poet Analyses!


Other Poems of Interest...



Home: PoetryExplorer.net