Two Pastorals for Samuel Palmer at Shoreham, Kent 

By Jonathan Williams 1929–2008 Jonathan Williams
I. “If the Night Could Get Up & Walk”
 
        I cannot put my hand into
        a cabbage to turn
        on the light, but
 
        the moon moves over
        the field of dark cabbage and an
        exchange fills
        all veins.
 
        The cabbage is also a globe
        of light, the two globes
 
        now two eyes in
        my saturated
 
        head!
 
 
        II. “One Must Try Behind the Hills”
 
 
        Eight Great Dahlias stood
        beyond the Mountains.
 
        They set fire to the Sun
        in a black wood
        beyond the Mountains,
 
        in the Valley of Vision

        In the Valley of Vision
 
        the Fission of
        Flowers
 
        yields all Power
        in the Valley of Vision.
 
        Eight Suns
        on Eight Stems,
 
        aflame!

       

Jonathan Williams, "Two Pastorals for Samuel Palmer at Shoreham, Kent" from Jubilant Thicket: New & Selected Poems. Copyright © 2005 by Jonathan Williams.  Reprinted by permission of Copper Canyon Press.

Source: Jubilant Thicket: New & Selected Poems (Copper Canyon Press, 2005)

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Poet Jonathan Williams 1929–2008

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

SCHOOL / PERIOD Black Mountain

Subjects Living, The Mind, Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals, Trees & Flowers

Biography

Founder of the Jargon Society and publisher of Jargon Press, Jonathan Williams was born in Asheville, North Carolina. He attended St. Albans School in Washington, DC, and then Princeton University before dropping out to attend the Chicago Institute of Design and Black Mountain College. A photographer and graphic artist, his books include An Ear in Bartram’s Tree: Selected Poems, 1957-1967 (1969), Strung Out with Elgar on a . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, The Mind, Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals, Trees & Flowers

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

SCHOOL / PERIOD Black Mountain

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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