Hilda Doolittle

(10 September 1886 – 27 September 1961 / Bethlehem, Pennsylvania)

Adonis


1.

Each of us like you
has died once,
has passed through drift of wood-leaves,
cracked and bent
and tortured and unbent
in the winter-frost,
the burnt into gold points,
lighted afresh,
crisp amber, scales of gold-leaf,
gold turned and re-welded
in the sun;

each of us like you
has died once,
each of us has crossed an old wood-path
and found the winter-leaves
so golden in the sun-fire
that even the live wood-flowers
were dark.

2.

Not the gold on the temple-front
where you stand
is as gold as this,
not the gold that fastens your sandals,
nor thee gold reft
through your chiselled locks,
is as gold as this last year's leaf,
not all the gold hammered and wrought
and beaten
on your lover's face.
brow and bare breast
is as golden as this:

each of us like you
has died once,
each of us like you
stands apart, like you
fit to be worshipped.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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