Randall Jarrell

(May 6, 1914 – October 14, 1965 / Nashville)

The Breath Of Night


The moon rises. The red cubs rolling
In the ferns by the rotten oak
Stare over a marsh and a meadow
To the farm's white wisp of smoke.
A spark burns, high in heaven.
Deer thread the blossoming rows
Of the old orchard, rabbits
Hop by the well-curb. The cock crows
From the tree by the widow's walk;
Two stars in the trees to the west,
Are snared, and an owl's soft cry
Runs like a breath through the forest.
Here too, though death is hushed, though joy
Obscures, like night, their wars,
The beings of this world are swept
By the Strife that moves the stars.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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  • John R (7/23/2006 1:41:00 PM)

    The Strife that moves the stars? Allusion to Dante and/or Plato and Aristotle - the love that moves the spheres? (Report) Reply

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