Hart CRANE: Passage
(1889 – 1932)
Where the cedar leaf divides the sky
I heard the sea.
In sapphire arenas of the hills
I was promised an improved infancy.
Sulking, sanctioning the sun,
My memory I left in a ravine,-
Casual louse that tissues the buck-wheat,
Aprons rocks, congregates pears
In moonlit bushels
And wakens alleys with a hidden cough.
Dangerously the summer burned
(I had joined the entrainments of the wind).
The shadows of boulders lengthened my back:
In the bronze gongs of my cheeks
The rain dried without odour.
“It is not long, it is not long;
See where the red and black
Vine-stanchioned valleys-“: but the wind
Died speaking through the ages that you know
And bug, chimney-sooted heart of man!
So was I turned about and back, much as your smoke
Compiles a too well-known biography.
The evening was a spear in the ravine
That throve through very oak. And had I walked
The dozen particular decimals of time?
Touching an opening laurel, I found
A thief beneath, my stolen book in hand.
“‘Why are you back here-smiling an iron coffin?
” “To argue with the laurel,” I replied:
“Am justified in transience, fleeing
Under the constant wonder of your eyes-.”
He closed the book. And from the Ptolemies
Sand troughed us in a glittering,, abyss.
A serpent swam a vertex to the sun
-On unpaced beaches leaned its tongue and
What fountains did I hear? What icy speeches?
Memory, committed to the page, had broke.
Hart Crane poetry