Spring 1959 • Vol. XXI No. 2 PoetryApril 1, 1959 |

Lighting Fires in Snow

Tread out a marble hollow  Then lay the twigs athwart,    Teepee-wise or wigwam, So that the air can follow  The match-flame from the start:   As we begin a poem  And some may win a heart. For twig to twig will beckon If lightly laid above Better than you can reckon.   Waste no time devising.   No, no, it is not love,    But the drying fume arisingIf the draft be free enough. As the under cavern reddens   Leave well alone! Cold fuel only deadens.    But pile across the smoke   And give the dog a bone.    For its life's sake, don't poke!   The wise fire knows its own. The wise poem knows its father  And treats him not amiss;     But Language is its motherTo burn where it would rather   Choose that and by-pass this     Only afraid of smother   Though the thickening snow-flakes hiss. 1. This poem is re-published by permission of Harcourt, Brace & Co.

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The Screens

By I. A. Richards

Tread out a marble hollow  Then lay the twigs athwart,    Teepee-wise or wigwam, So that the air can follow  The match-flame from the start:   As we begin a poem  And some […]

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