Thursday, July 15, 2010

"Desolation is a Delicate Thing" / Elinor Wylie

 
"Desolation is a Delicate Thing"

Sorrow lay upon my breast more heavily than winter clay
Lying imponderable upon the unmoving bosom of the dead;
Yet it was dissolved like a thin snowfall; it was softly withered away;
Presently like a single drop of dew it had trembled and fled.

This sorrow, which seemed heavier than a shovelful of loam,
Was gone like water, like a web of delicate frost;
It was silent and vanishing like smoke; it was scattered like foam;
Though my mind should desire to preserve it, nevertheless it is lost.

---
Elinor Wylie (1889-1928)
from Trivial Breath, 1928

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada and the European Union]

Elinor Wylie biography

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