Speculation

By Ruth Stone 1915–2011 Ruth Stone
In the coolness here I care
Not for the down-pressed noises overhead,
I hear in my pearly bone the wear
Of marble under the rain; nothing is truly dead,
There is only the wearing away,
The changing of means. Nor eyes I have
To tell how in the summer the mourning dove
Rocks on the hemlock’s arm, nor ears to rend
The sad regretful mind
With the call of the horned lark.
I lie so still that the earth around me
Shakes with the weight of day;
I do not mind if the vase
Holds decomposed cut flowers, or if they send
One of their kind to tidy up. Such play
I have no memories of,
Nor of the fire-bush flowers, or the bark
Of the rough pine where the crows
With their great haw and flap
Circle in kinned excitement when a wind blows.
I am kin with none of these,
Nor even wed to the yellowing silk that splits;
My sensitive bones, which dreaded,
As all the living do, the dead,
Wait for some unappointed pattern. The wits
Of countless centuries dry in my skull and overhead
I do not heed the first rain out of winter,
Nor do I care what they have planted. At my center
The bone glistens; of wondrous bones I am made;
And alone shine in a phosphorous glow,
So, in this little plot where I am laid.

Ruth Stone, “Speculation” from Simplicity. Copyright © 1995 by Ruth Stone. Reprinted with the permission of Paris Press, Inc.

Source: In An Iridescent Time (1959)

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Poet Ruth Stone 1915–2011

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Subjects Nature, Living, Death

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

 Ruth  Stone

Biography

Poet Ruth Stone was born in Roanoke, Virginia, in 1915 and attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She lived in a rural farmhouse in Vermont for much of her life and received widespread recognition relatively late with the publication of Ordinary Words (1999). The book won the National Book Critics Circle Award and was soon followed by other award-winning collections, including In the Next Galaxy (2002), winner . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Living, Death

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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