poet Allen Tate

Allen Tate

The Eagle

Say never the strong heart
In the consuming breath
Cries out unto the dark
The skinny death.

Look! whirring on the rind
Of aether a white eagle,
Shot out of the mind,
The windy apple, burning,

Hears no more, past compass
In his topless flight,
The apple wormed, blown up
By shells of light;

So, faggot of the heart
On the cinder day
The woman and the man!
David and Sybil say

The world has a season
Under the world's might:
Now in deep autumn-
Black apple in the night.

Think not the world spins ever
(Only the world has a year)
Only the gaunt fierce bird
Flies, merciless with fear

Lest air hold him not,
Beats up the scaffold of space
Sick of the world's rot-
God's hideous face.

Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 21, 2010

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