Summer 1964 • Vol. XXVI No. 3 PoetryJuly 1, 1964 |

Interiors

Small flame pointing, shadowing, picking out Black lacquer, bronze, blue velvet, a tassel That sweeps the chequered floor. God of battles, Bless these Thy banners. Smoke and the smell of fat Ascending to cold turbulence over us, A cold wind crawling the stone thresholds, And through the cry of captains in the street The hooded women carry uprooted canes Into the courtyard for the fire of Their ceremony called Burning of Wands. The icy road, a rider drawn up at the door, Knock echoing, what he has in hand Peremptory, urgently magnificent, Orders, tidings, there is never time. So warm, so clear at the line of corded velvet The marvelous flesh, its faster rise and fall, Sigh in the throat, the mouth fallen open, The knees fallen open, the heavy flag of the skirt Urgently gathered together, quick, so quick, Black lacquer, bronze, blue velvet, gleam Of pewter in a tarnishing light, the book Of the body lying open at the last leaf, Where the spirit and the bride say, Come, As from deep

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To Dante

By Howard Nemerov

Small flame pointing, shadowing, picking out Black lacquer, bronze, blue velvet, a tassel That sweeps the chequered floor. God of battles, Bless these Thy banners. Smoke and the smell of […]

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