Sunday, July 19, 2015

Déjeuner sur l'herbe / Edith Sitwell

Déjeuner sur l'herbe

Green apples dancing in a wash of sun —
Ripples of sense and fun —
A net of light that wavers as it weaves
The sunlight on the chattering leaves;
The half-dazed sound of feet,
And carriages that ripple in the heat.
The parasols like shadows of the sun
Cast wavering shades that run
Across the laughing faces and across
Hair with a bird-bright gloss.
The swinging greenery casts shadows dark,
Hides me that I may mark
How, buzzing in this dazzling mesh, my soul
Seems hardening it to flesh, and one bright whole.
O sudden feathers have a flashing sheen!
The sun's swift javelin
The bird-songs seem, that through the dark leaves pass;
And life itself is but a flashing glass.

Edith Sitwell (1887-1964)
from Clowns' Houses, 1918

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada and the United States]

Edith Sitwell biography

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