Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Whittaker Chambers, ‘October 21st, 1926’, Poetry, Vol. XXXVII, No. V, February 1931, pp. 258-59.

The moving masses of clouds, and the standing
Freights on the siding in the sun, alike induce in us
That despair which we, brother, know there is no withstanding.

Nothing but the moving masses of clouds has any meaning
For this tortured world now; or only motionlessness as of the cars,
In beings of substance, remains undemeaning.

Only the mention of the motion of masses,
Being or substance, has any meaning – or their cessation
Upon the perfect turn of the experience motion amasses.

We see all about us how, in creation,
Flowers from the dark gathering in their roots, with one motion,
Thrust themselves perfect, O God, perfect from increation.

And you know, brother, it is the same with cessation;
You know how perfect must be the ways of anything
Designing its return to cessation.

You know it is the cessation of the motion in me I am waiting:
And not lack of love, or love of the sun’s generation, and the motion
Of bodies, or their stasis, that keeps me – but my perfection for death I am waiting.

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