I copped Adrienne Rich's The Fact Of A Door Frame, back at Howard. Truthfully, I couldn't really get into it. But this poem always stuck with me. I went back and re-read it this morning, and I think I'm going to give Adrienne Rich another shot. Sometimes the poem has to wait on its audience. Poem after the jump. The picture is Pierre-Auguste Cot's "The Storm." I saw it at the Met the summer before last. I haven't been back in a while. It's so hard to get clear.
The glass has been falling all the afternoon, And knowing better than the instrument What winds are walking overhead, what zone Of grey unrest is moving across the land, I leave the book upon a pillowed chair And walk from window to closed window, watching Boughs strain against the sky
And think again, as often when the air Moves inward toward a silent core of waiting, How with a single purpose time has traveled By secret currents of the undiscerned Into this polar realm. Weather abroad And weather in the heart alike come on Regardless of prediction.
Between foreseeing and averting change Lies all the mastery of elements Which clocks and weatherglasses cannot alter. Time in the hand is not control of time, Nor shattered fragments of an instrument A proof against the wind; the wind will rise, We can only close the shutters.
I draw the curtains as the sky goes black And set a match to candles sheathed in glass Against the keyhole draught, the insistent whine Of weather through the unsealed aperture. This is our sole defense against the season; These are the things we have learned to do Who live in troubled regions.
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