Poetry and Poetics
INAUGURAL POEM, JANUARY, 1961
Robert Frost is lit by sun; a brighter grey
In the black and white weather, his hair
Wild poet’s grass, wind indifferent
To paper or flesh.
Poetry doesn’t matter here; ask the
Temperature, ask the capitol dome,
Ask the dark suits surrounding
His odd bird body, waiting to hear
Now he squints, and his shiver tells us
What work it is to stand alone.
And there is a moment where nobody knows—
It could be the sound of a stroke
Making a blender of his throat.
It might be the brat foot of tumble
Kicking away the stool
In his inner ear.
If tough luck blows his page away.
If his heart rattles it’s last full measure.
If these words he’s now pulling from
Memory damn up.
He is the man holding up the music,
The parade, the champagne.
He is making everyone hold
Their breath and think of
How gravity hates the acrobat.
© by Cornelius Eady
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