To The Art of Edgar Degas
Beachcomber on the shores of tears
Limning the gestures of defeat
In dancers, whores, and opera-stars –
The lonely, lighted various street
You sauntered through, oblique, perverse,
In your home territory a spy,
Accosted you and with a curse
You froze it with your Gorgon’s eye.
With what tense patience you refine
The everyness of everyday
And with free colour and a line
Make my mysteries of flaccid clay!
By what strange enterprise you live!
Edgy, insatiably alone,
You choose your tenderness to give
To showgirls whom you turn to stone –
But stone that moves, tired stone that leans
To ease involuntarily the toe
Of ballet-girls like watering-cans
(Those arguers at the bar) as though
In their brief pause you found relief
From posed dilemmas of the mind-
Your grudging aristocratic grief,
The wildcat cares of going blind.
Well, walk your evening streets and look
Each last eleven at the show:
The darkening pleasures you forsook
Look back like burning windows now.
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(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(22 August 1893 - 7 June 1967)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
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