Hilda Morley, Winter Solstice

A cold night crosses
our path
                  The world appears
very large, very
round now       extending
far as the moon does
                                        It is from
the moon this cold travels
                                        It is
the light of the moon that causes
this night reflecting distance in its own
light so coldly
                                          (from one side of
the earth to the other)
                                        It is the length of this coldness
It is the long distance
between two points which are
not in a line        now
                                       not a
straightness       (however
straight) but a curve only,
silver that is a rock reflecting
                                                      not metal
but a rock accepting
distance
                     (a scream in silence
where between the two
points what touches
is a curve around the world
                                                      (the dance unmoving).
Hilda Morley, Winter Solstice

Jorge Luis Borges, The Art of Poetry

To gaze at a river made of time and water
And remember Time is another river
To know we stray like a river
And our faces vanish like water
To feel that waking is another dream
That dreams of not dreaming and that the death
We fear in our bones is the death
That every night we call a dream
To see in every day and year a symbol
Of all the days of man and his years
And convert the outrage of the years
Into a music, a sound, and a symbol
To see in death a dream, in the sunset
A golden sadness, such is poetry
Humble and immortal, poetry
Returning, like dawn and the sunset
Sometimes at evening there’s a face
That sees us from the deeps of a mirror
Art must be that sort of mirror
Disclosing to each of us his face
They say Ulysses, wearied of wonders
Wept with love on seeing Ithaca
Humble and green. Art is that Ithaca
A green eternity, not wonders
Art is endless like a river flowing
Passing, yet remaining, a mirror to the same
Inconstant Heraclitus, who is the same
And yet another, like the river flowing

Jorge Luis Borges, The Art of Poetry

Mark Strand, The Remains

I empty myself of the names of others. I empty my pockets.
I empty my shoes and leave them beside the road.
At night I turn back the clocks;
I open the family album and look at myself as a boy.
What good does it do? The hours have done their job.
I say my own name. I say goodbye.
The words follow each other downwind.
I love my wife but send her away.
My parents rise out of their thrones
into the milky rooms of clouds.
How can I sing? Time tells me what I am.
I change and I am the same.
I empty myself of my life and my life remains.

Mark Strand, The Remains

Ketaki Kushari Dyson, Fallen Leaves

There have been no letters from me. Such is your complaint
I am compelled to tell you that if my disobedient letters
Were to fall into your arms like inert leaves of autumn
Even once, you wouldn’t be able to deal with them, recipient.
Overflowing your arms into files, files into drawers, drawers into the trunk
Finally pushing open the lid they will emerge in a procession
Across the desk, the bed, the floor
The doorstep, the top of the cupboard, the window ledge
You will go mad.
The liberated leaves will not be contained even in your empty room
Unannounced, one night
Without sending word I will reach your neighbourhood
Peeping through the window I will see
Suspended over the jumble of my letters smothering your room
The white moon, laughing.
Your door is wide open
Turned insane by the torrent of shed leaves you have gone out
Without locking your room.
I will see my letters lying there
Naked, helpless, weeping
Anyone can pick them up and read them
And burst out laughing as they read
In competition with the moon

Ketaki Kushari Dyson, Fallen Leaves

Ilya Kaminsky, WE LIVED HAPPILY DURING THE WAR

And when they bombed other people’s houses, we
protested
but not enough, we opposed them but not
enough. I was
in my bed, around my bed America
was falling: invisible house by invisible house by invisible house.
I took a chair outside and watched the sun.
In the sixth month
of a disastrous reign in the house of money
in the street of money in the city of money in the country of money,
our great country of money, we (forgive us)
lived happily during the war.

Ilya Kaminsky, WE LIVED HAPPILY DURING THE WAR