Stan Petrovich

(10/27/1950 / Fort Riley, KS)

Ode to an Arizona Cliff (after Keats)

Still undeniable scene of quietness,
The eroded child of silence and slow time,
Silvered historian, who can exspress
A tale more shapely in rhyme;
What rock-fringed moves about you shape
Of ghosts and men or both.
In Tempe or the dales of Patagonia?
What overhangs are these? What minerals?
What wild pursuit? What struggle to erode?
Wha spires and entrails? What ecstasy?

Ah happy, happy leaves! that cannot shed
Your twigs, for ever leave Spring behind;
Ah, trenchant melodist, unbearable,
Ever stumming guitar songs novel;
More happy songs! More happy, happy love!
For ever warm by the sun,
For ever breathing life in his passion,
All human passion far above,
That drops forever into an abyss of sorrow,
A torrid tongue, and parching fingers.

Who is coming to the sacrifice?
It is their pleasure for the cunning
Of the steep hillside, deeply.
Axious men and overwought women,
With forest branches for hair and the trodden sod.
Thou, silent gulf! could tease out the thought
As if eternal. Cold Pastoral!
When old age this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of another woe,
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou sayest:
'Beauty is truth, and truth beauty - that is all
Ye know on earth and all ye need to know.'

Submitted: Sunday, April 21, 2013
Edited: Monday, September 30, 2013

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