Sunday, March 06, 2011

`That Long Formality: Peace'

Remembering a poet, even with the best of intentions, is an empty gesture unless we read his poems. Cynthia Haven introduced me last year to a good one, Moore Moran, and it was Cynthia who told me tonight of his death. Here’s an early poem by Moran, “That Breakfast” (The Room Within, 2010) first published in The Atlantic in 1956, the year after the death of Wallace Stevens, to whom Moran dedicates the poem:

“His pigeons have reached darkness
By now, and absolute shade,
The one fast color, hardened
The rich change of his blue gaze.

“Indelible leaves falling
Across the Sundays, firing
An ice-rimmed sky or blazing
In his page, will hold his sound.

“Earth only will find him cold.

“How fair must have been that late
And inexorable stand
When, closely groomed, breakfasting
Expensively on warm wine,
Eggs Benedict, he reworked
Some dark juxtaposition,

“His gaze led by innocence,
His hands in the moment, all
Malice suspended softly,
And heard in the seventh hour,
Dilating like the sea's prose,
That long formality: peace.”

1 comment:

Cynthia Haven said...

What a gorgeous poem, Patrick. Excellent choice.