Sign of single dominion, of absolute
   poverty—then why so hesitant, so blurred
a sound on Sunday morning?
   You touch this standing train with life,
and the wet white station of this town
   closed in old silences. It’s refreshing.
Solitary houses, streets, squares, palaces,
   canals and railroad crossings, misty fields,
this is not the stuff of insubstantial sound
   but of perpetual grace, profoundly yours…
Do you say that the core of implacable power
   is a life-giving fear? The core of resignation
a mysterious, exultant power of life?

This Issue

May 10, 1984