Spring 1951 • Vol. XIII No. 2 PoetryApril 1, 1951 |

All or None

Each year, just as the blossoms Fall, and the buds curl from the boughs, I hear from the sky a wondering voice: The brass bird that drowses All year on the turning house Has felt in his veins, once more, a green Start: a shudder of awe Runs through him—the new life That comes, in the spring, to everything but our lives. From their setting of eggshells, the nestlings Call fiercely up to a sky That rains, like the hours, blessings Into their straining bills: to live, to die. All or none: it is all one. "The real sun Is the eye of the beholder," Says the beholder, turning the page That will someday be turned by the wind; "Each year I am a year older And the people in the street are a year younger." The world is always the same age.

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Randall Jarrell was a poet, critic, and literary essayist. From 1937 to 1939 he taught at Kenyon College, where he met John Crowe Ransom and Robert Lowell.

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Each year, just as the blossoms Fall, and the buds curl from the boughs, I hear from the sky a wondering voice: The brass bird that drowses All year on […]

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