Sunday, February 3, 2013

Early Winter / Weldon Kees

Early Winter

Memory of summer is winter's consciousness.
Sitting or walking or merely standing still,
Earning a living or watching the snow fall,
I am remembering the sun on sidewalks in a warmer place,
A small hotel and a dead girl's face;
I think of these in this higher altitude, staring West.

But the room is cold, the words in the books are cold;
And the question of whether we get what we ask for
Is absurd, unanswered by the sound of an unlatched door
Rattling in wind, or the sound of snow on roofs, or glare
Of the winter sun. What we have learned is not what we were told.
I watch the snow, feel for the heartbeat that is not there.

Weldon Kees
from The Collected Poems of Weldon Kees, 1960

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada]

Weldon Kees biography

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