Autumn 1941 • Vol. III No. 4 Younger Poets |

[How Slightly Earned, the Body]

How slightly earned, the body,body’s first attraction,faint and fierce,how little warranted, its angerof insistence, longing clamber,deprivation, and repose …. We lie, we grow two arms;we anchor cheek, we kiss;we bid our bodies love,they nod, obedient,so slight anxietyprecedes embrace,no gesture onerous,suspended, hasty,is allowedto breakthe lovers’ circle,place of marvel,time of feast. Our bodies, all too easilythe docile agentsof a simple, small-demandingfate; too rapidlyanticipate, too readilywould see createthe finished flowermarketed and bought. Bodies of alabaster, ivory,bodies composed and tuned,bodies for glory’s use,and joy, pain, vice,disintegration; bodies for delight …. Unearned and undeserved,an easy splendorat a mortal source: this bodywe must die into;though knowing its amazingheart and life, denyits plainer importunities.

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