from “the tomb of stuart merrill”

Let’s get on with it
But what about the past

Because it only builds up out of fragments
Each evening we walk out to see
How they are coming along with the temple
There is an interest in watching how
One piece is added to another.
At least it isn’t horrible like
Being inside a hospital and really finding out
What it’s like in there.
So one is tempted not to include this page
In the fragment of our lives
Just as its meaning is about to coagulate
In the air around us:

“Father!” “Son!” “Father I thought we’d lost you
In the blue and buff planes of the Aegean:
Now it seems you’re really back.”
Only for a while, son, only for a while.”
We can go inside now.

(John Ashbery, from Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror. Wikipedia on Stuart Merrill.)

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