‘Ay’ and ‘no’ too was no good divinity
King Lear
Plucked from their sockets like eyes that gave offense,
Dozens of black-eyed susans gaze
Into the room—a composite lens
Like a fly’s, staring out of a bronze vase.

Gloucestered out of the meadow by the hands
I love, they ask me do I know
What they mean by this bold flower-glance?
Do I know who made the room glow?

And the answer of course is love, but before I say
Love, I see the other question they raise,
Like anything blind that gapes at you that way.
‘Ay’ and ‘no’ too was no good divinity
A man may see how this world goes with no eyes.

The luster of the room goes blear for a minute,
Then, like Gloucester, I begin to guess;
I imagine the world, I imagine the world and you in it:
There’s flowering, there’s a dark question answered yes.

This Issue

February 6, 1964