William Carlos Williams

(17 September 1883 – 4 March 1963 / New Jersey)

These


are the desolate, dark weeks
when nature in its barrenness
equals the stupidity of man.

The year plunges into night
and the heart plunges
lower than night

to an empty, windswept place
without sun, stars or moon
but a peculiar light as of thought

that spins a dark fire -
whirling upon itself until,
in the cold, it kindles

to make a man aware of nothing
that he knows, not loneliness
itself - Not a ghost but

would be embraced - emptiness
despair - (They
whine and whistle) among

the flashes and booms of war;
houses of whose rooms
the cold is greater than can be thought,

the people gone that we loved,
the beds lying empty, the couches
damp, the chairs unused -

Hide it away somewhere
out of mind, let it get to roots
and grow, unrelated to jealous

ears and eyes - for itself.
In this mine they come to dig - all.
Is this the counterfoil to sweetest

music? The source of poetry that
seeing the clock stopped, says,
The clock has stopped

that ticked yesterday so well?
and hears the sound of lakewater
splashing - that is now stone.

Submitted: Tuesday, August 12, 2003

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