1 minute reading time (276 words)

Excerpt 2 --- Quiet Movements *

''Not many people have heard
the angels singing at dusk'',
he informed me in his quiet way,
''Some have only heard of them''.

Where I used to live
there was an ancient tree
vast in its girth
spreading its branches
wherever its roots wanted to go;

 

When I was young
where I once used to live
they often came there
to sing; and I saw them
and heard their singing too;

The hoar old branches
would bend when they sang
and the fluttering birds in my soul
also burst out in fiery chorus
to forever engrave their song
upon my innnermost being;

 

Once or twice, a badger
came to light
hiding behind the bushes, softly
humming the refrain
unaware I was intruding
on his orisons;

 

I like badgers,
with their bristling furs
and furtive ways-
on moonlit nights
they transform into silvery rays of moonshine,
rather mysterious and unreal;

 

I like badgers, who
worship without being seen;

 

Some nights we talked,
badgers
birds
angels
and trees

These were dark nights
the cloudless, still and frightful nights
when the shadows mingled without definition
into the stars;

 

These were the nights
when the soul
often asked questions of us-
when the land lay scattered before us,
like the pieces of a puzzle
demanding to be put together,
to be resolved;

 

These nights
the snakes would slither out of their secret places
in order to encircle us in a ring of emerald and ocher
shot with gold,
the hermetic sealing of our thoughts
within the circle of predestination;

 

We talked at length
under the silent scrutiny
of snakes.

 


* From Canto 3 of 'The Harvest of Love Songs' (1997)

Excerpt 1
Teaching Ezra Pound's Cantos

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