Summer is late, my heart

Stanley Kunitz: As Flowers Are

As flowers have wars that the philosophic eye
Stoops to behold, broils of the golden age
When honey dropped from the trees, and the bees perform
Their educated dance, we find our skins
In which to parable the act of love,
Contending, as at first, that the world might move.

Perfection caught in amber of our days
Jewels the life; on the offended thread
We hang the instants of the souls’ surprise
When it is ravished by the absolute god,
Who comes in any shape that he may choose
But the expected one: as flowers tell lies.

Your lazy tongue that makes me think of bells
And soft Mediterranean afternoons
(As flowers shoot stars) rings out its heaven-changes
Till souls and gods pick clover in your lines
And what I carry through the giant grass
Mocks the profession of the comic ants.

Summer is late, my heart: the dusty fiddler
Hunches under the stone; these pummelings
Of scent are more than masquerade; I have heard
A song repeat, repeat, till my breath had failed.
As flowers have flowers, at the season’s height,
A single color oversweeps the field.

Another one of the best post WWII American poets. His lamentably slim (274 pp) Collected Poems (buy em here) should be read by everyone interested in the craft and magic of good poetry.

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