Neither our vices nor our virtues
further the poem. “They came up
just like they do every year
on the rocks.”
feeds upon thought, feeling, impulse,
to breed itself,
a spiritual urgency at the dark ladders leaping.
This beauty is an inner persistence
toward the source
striving against (within) down-rushet of the river,
a call we heard and answer
in the lateness of the world
from which the youngest world might spring,
salmon not in the well where the
but at the falls battling, inarticulate,
blindly making it.
This is one picture apt for the mind.
A second: a moose painted by Stubbs,
where last year’s extravagant antlers
lie on the ground.
The forlorn moosey-faced poem wears
“a little heavy, a little contrived”,
his only beauty to be
Robert Duncan, “Poetry, a Natural Thing” from The Opening of the Field. Copyright © 1960 by Robert Duncan. Reprinted with the permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation.
Source: The Opening of the Field