Kora in Hell: Improvisations XXVII
This particular thing, whether it be four pinches of four divers white powders cleverly compounded to cure surely, safely, pleasantly a painful twitching of the eyelids or say a pencil sharpened at one end, dwarfs the imagination, makes logic a butterfly, offers a finality that sends us spinning through space, a fixity the mind could climb forever, a revolving mountain, a complexity with a surface of glass; the gist of poetry. D.C. al fin.
There is no thing that with a twist of the imagination cannot be something else. Porpoises risen in a green sea, the wind at nightfall bending the rose-red grasses and you—in your apron running to catch—say it seems to you to be your son. How ridiculous! You will pass up into a cloud and look back at me, not count the scribbling foolish that puts wings to your heels, at your knees.
Sooner or later as with the leaves forgotten the swinging branch long since and summer: they scurry before a wind on the frost-baked ground—have no place to rest—somehow invoke a burst of warm days not of the past nothing decayed: crisp summer!—neither a copse for resurrected frost eaters but a summer removed undestroyed a summer of dried leaves scurrying with a screech, to and fro in the half dark—twittering, chattering, scraping. Hagh!
Seeing the leaves dropping from the high and low branches the thought rise: this day of all others is the one chosen, all other days fall away from it on either side and only itself remains in perfect fullness. It is its own summer, of its leaves as they scrape on the smooth ground it must build its perfection. The gross summer of the year is only a halting counterpart of those fiery days of secret triumph which in reality themselves paint the year as if upon a parchment, giving each season a mockery of the warmth or frozenness which is within ourselves. The true seasons blossom or wilt not in fixed order but so that many of them may pass in a few weeks or hours whereas sometimes a whole life passes and the season remains of a piece from one end to the other.
Source: Imaginations (New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1970)
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Poet William Carlos Williams 1883–1963
POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic
SCHOOL / PERIOD Imagist
Poetic Terms Prose Poem
Poems by William Carlos Williams
More poems by William Carlos Williams (25 poems)
- Flowers by the Sea
- It Is a Living Coral
- Kora in Hell: Improvisations II
- Kora in Hell: Improvisations XI
- Kora in Hell: Improvisations XIV
- Kora in Hell: Improvisations XXII
- Love Song
- Queen-Anne’s Lace
- Sonnet in Search of an Author
- The crowd at the ball game
- The Great Figure
- The Red Wheelbarrow
- The Widow’s Lament in Springtime
- This Is Just To Say
- To a Poor Old Woman
- To Elsie
- Winter Trees