Friday, April 16, 2010

Magdalen (July 11, 2009)

While boys' shouts echo 'cross a neighbouring field
here on the path, the sounds of peeling bells
Lie crushed beneath my feet like scattered shells;
The ground we tread's half made of what we yield
Through walking where the heart is armed and steeled.
'Tis secret here, and no one stone thing tells
The narrative that's left, that parallels
These shapes around which all your words congealed.
What passages are wrought from these, our lives,
Our beautiful, small labour clothed in flesh
Cross-hatching palimpsests upon the air?
O, wonder of this place where that survives,
Where repetitions of each past enmesh
A present sweetening of absent care.

[Photo: Magdalen College, Oxford.]

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