Elegy

At no time in our past has the ATLANTICreceived as many poems as are now submitted to us. They are evidence of an interest in poetry which never slackens and which often burns most brightly in the undergraduate years. As an incentive for writers yet unestablished, we have set aside each year a number of pages in our February and August issues to be devoted to the work of young poets.

BY ROBERT A. ROSENTHAL
Mourning the deaths of heroes he could never forgive
For dying, mourning their crimson standards blanched mauve,
The lances lying on the turf, mourning the green grass
For its brown dying, the past for its damp compass
And slow decaying, mourning at last his dirge’s death
Among denying winds, he found himself berelt
Of grief as he had been of love, of even the brusque
Recital of love.
In Fields where lay the husks
Of his affection he vowed to seek less transient stuff,
The graven word, the sculptured phrase defying grief,
Transforming love’s eroded face to lasting image.
But if all flesh were grass and feeling pale umbrage
Of grass, then each vaunted image, each cherished
Word became the shade of the shade of grass, to perish
Like a firefly after fitful life and brief semblance
Of hope.
The field recedes from him. Remembrance
Fades. Names become the cries of gulls, words the coarse
Whispers of the sea. His sight dims. He cannot force
Her face to light. Blind man in a field of mines,
He cannot move, lest his artifacts explode him.
At dawn the wild geese cry but he cannot hear them.
At dusk the lovers pass but he cannot touch them.
Though the winds, spent, subside, his voice will not be heard.
Having lost once a song he has now done with words.