Aesthetic Realism Online Library Poetry by Eli Siegel

A Marriage

1.

North Carolina, Washington and Baltimore.

2.

An auto going south, and words in a room,

And outside, pink of May, white of June, brown of September, white of December. 

3.

In a widely tumultuous sky, a darkening sky, going out, dark on all sides, for miles, somewhere in the sky sweetly luminous air; quietly shining stillness somewhere amid strange thunders; and after strange thunders the meaningful careless calling of an unperturbed bird.

Vanishing of black, smoky train into softly-white, million-flowered field; disappearance of weighty smoke and heavy cinders into delicate summery shimmer.

4.

The finely adequate word showing where justice might have been long ago and the meeting of this word by a line of feminine light. 

5.

Among a wildly numbered, swirling, diving, circling, plunging mighty army of flying things, See!—Some still power, which persons may call chance or choice or destiny or the Lord or ever-so-often-mentioned God—and the departing from a swirling army of two beings, a departing in some universal manner; and the making of some deliberate universe themselves. 

6.

And where have you been? 

It is snowing fast, 

It is a long way from here, 

Sometime, yes—

All in a way for themselves. 

7.

With every instance of affection a world connives, 

Every kind word is part of destiny's business. 

The universe cheers when the word of one person is met keenly, knowingly, lovingly by another. 

Love is the mightiest point in a sweet and cunning world's going after harmony; 

Love is the color of the deftest and richest world geometry, 

Geometry moving, and making a point a world, and a world a point. 

8.

The whiteness of a petal, 

The clean shiningness of a diamond, 

The racing of clouds into clouds, and the curving of winds round trains; 

Steel, mist, light, wheels, and old ocean, 

All are the attendants of mind liking mind, 

And all serve today. 

9.

Today has been served for ever. 

The reins of the mighty, earth-possessing drivers, 

The disposers of society, 

And they who bind wild lines into one line, 

Are the humble attendants of today. 

10.

Green of North Carolina, history in Washington, and white in Baltimore are concerned today. 

11.

It is a constantly arranging and rearranging world, 

And the arrangements and rearrangements are what science and law are after. 

The most glorious chase in the world is that of mind after a frisky universe, 

And earth joins in the cheering when some of its colorful madness 

Has science and law for its conquerors, 

And the colorful madness is greater than ever. 

12.

Two in this serious game of making law and color one, 

Like two clouds that join and together go down the sky—

After an unknown sun—

And a light beyond suns—

Join, kindly, for the management of this terrifyingly deceptive, evanescent, massive, high and low, godlike, snail-like—this and that—and all around us, in us, and beyond us, and beyond us, and beyond us—and for us world. 

13.

Marriage is a successful simile in the poetry of this startling existence we're in. 

14.

Here's affection and here is, too, 

Observation of history together, 

Notation of the law, 

Worriment about justice, 

Regard for the atom, 

Companioned conversation with some imposing German. 

15.

An auto may take one, 

To the knowing light in a dear face, 

Or the knowledge-having laugh of a dear mind, mind shown in mischievous eyes. 

So many fields passed for the meeting of love, 

So many flowers whizzed by for the meeting of love, 

So many houses spurned, meadows banished, barns raced past—

For the meeting of a dear face. 

Houses spurned for the meeting of love, 

Stars abandoned for the meeting of love. 

16.

Springs we'll have again, 

And springs with the presence of love. 

Sultry nights will be ours again, 

And nights with knowledge and care about. 

The opening of doors, the cessation of rain, the disappearance of birds, 

All will have love around. 

17.

For love changes birds for us, 

And makes the delicate pink petal soberly hidden away, 

And the gliding, motor-mad, dashing through clouds aeroplane, 

Something else; affection has made a new adjective for petals and aeroplanes. 

18.

We hail today new summers, 

New waves; 

And a new past. 

19.

Eyes we may suppose, 

Are made so that the rose 

May be seen; this is the way 

Something uses to convey 

To us, it has made 

Besides our eyes and us, 

Something else; and thus and thus 

This thing goes about its business. 

And for eyes is light and shade, 

And for eyes is nothing less 

Than a world and a rose, 

Than a world and a rose. 

The rose has lines and victories, 

Despairs, defeat and hate, 

Ugliness, terror, shocks. 

The rose has all of fate, 

The world has all of fate, 

The rose has early and late, 

The world has early and late—

And spears and stars and fires.—

And don't you, however, suppose 

The eye is for the rose? 

Surely the world mocks 

Us and so does the rose. 

However one sees 

Things; however strangely attires 

Itself this earth of ours—

Both in steel and flowers—

See it—for don't you suppose 

The eye is for the rose? 

20.

Eyes and mind together, 

In thunder a hand lying on a hand. 

Wheels whizzing to reach an active page, a learned page—a word. 

And a hand lying on a hand, 

And a cloud on a cloud, 

And a mist over ocean, 

And flower going off towards dazzling planets, 

And a word meeting a word, 

And a word meeting a word, 

And a word meeting a word, 

And North Carolina, Washington, Baltimore, 

And a hand lying on a hand, 

And a word.