The Fable

By Yvor Winters 1900–1968 Yvor Winters
Beyond the steady rock the steady sea,
In movement more immovable than station,
Gathers and washes and is gone. It comes,
A slow obscure metonymy of motion,
Crumbling the inner barriers of the brain.
But the crossed rock braces the hills and makes
A steady quiet of the steady music,
Massive with peace.
                              And listen, now:
The foam receding down the sand silvers
Between the grains, thin, pure as virgin words,
Lending a sheen to Nothing, whispering.

Yvor Winters, “The Fable” from The Collected Poems of Yvor Winters. Used by permission of Ohio University Press, Athens, Ohio.

Source: The Collected Poems of Yvor Winters (1960)

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Poet Yvor Winters 1900–1968

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Subjects Nature, Seas, Rivers, & Streams

Poetic Terms Blank Verse

 Yvor  Winters

Biography

When Yvor Winters’s publisher and friend Alan Swallow hailed him in 1940 as the “sage of Palo Alto,” he accurately touched on the paradox of Winters’s career: the isolation in which he became admired as a poet, a teacher, and critic of poetry. For Winters, who adopted California early in his career as his permanent home, participated in the major poetic and critical movements of the 20th century—imagism, the expatriate . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Seas, Rivers, & Streams

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Poetic Terms Blank Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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