Sunday, March 21, 2010

Memory Green - A. MacLeish

Another by Archibald MacLeish (see earlier: Poem In Prose). If memory serves, this is the first of his poems that I liked: it defines “bittersweet”.

Memory Green

Yes and when the warm unseasonable weather
Comes at the year’s end of the next late year
And the southwest wind that smells of rain and summer
Strips the huge branches of their dying leaves,

And you at dusk along the Friedrichstrasse
Or you in Paris on the windy quai
Shuffle the shallow fallen leaves before you
Thinking the thoughts that like the grey clouds change,

You will not understand why suddenly sweetness
Fills in your heart or the tears come to your eyes:
You will stand in the June-warm wind and the leaves
When was it so before, you will say, With whom?

You will not remember this at all: you will stand there
Feeling the wind on your throat, the wind in your sleeves,
You will smell the dead leaves in the grass of a garden:
You will close your eyes: With whom, you will say,
Ah where?
Archibald MacLeish - American

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