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Collected Poems
Collected Poems

 

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"An Upward Look"


                 

 

An Upward Look

Oh heart green acre      sown with salt
by the departing      occupier

lay down your gallant      spears of wheat
Salt of the earth      each stellar pinch

flung in blind      defiance backwards
now takes its toll      Up from his quieted

quarry the lover      colder and wiser
hauling himself      finds the world turning

toys triumphs      toxins into
this vast facility      the living come
dearest to die in      How did it happen

In bright alternation      minutely mirrored
Within the thinking      of each and every

mortal creature      halves of a clue
approach the earthlinghts      Morning star

evening star      salt of the sky
First the grave      dissolving into dawn

the the crucial      recrystallizing
from the inmost depths      of clear dark blue

 

 


Excerpted from COLLECTED POEMS by James Merrill. Copyrightę 2001 by the Literary Estate of James Merrill at Washington University. Excerpted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this poem may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.