A Song of the Rolling Earth
A Song of the Rolling Earth
A SONG of the rolling earth, and of words according,
Were you thinking that those were the words,
those upright lines?
those curves, angles, dots?
No, those are not the words, the substantial words are
ground and sea,
They are in the air, they are in you.
Were you thinking that those were the words, those delicious
sounds out of your friends' mouths?
real words are more delicious than they.
Human bodies are words, myriads of words,
(In the best poems re-appears the body, man's or woman's,
well-shaped, natural, gay,
Every part able, active, receptive, without shame or the
need of shame.)
Air, soil, water, fire those are words,
I myself am a word with them my qualities interpenetrate
theirs my name is nothing to them,
Though it were told in the three thousand languages, what would
air, soil, water, fire, know of my name?
A healthy presence, a friendly or commanding gesture, are
words, sayings, meanings,
The charms that
go with the mere looks of some men and women,
are sayings and meanings also.
The workmanship of souls is by those inaudible words of the
The masters know the earth's words
and use them more than
Amelioration is one of the earth's words,
The earth neither lags nor hastens,
It has all attributes, growths, effects, latent in itself from the
It is not half beautiful only, defects and
just as much as perfections show.
The earth does not withhold, it is generous enough,
The truths of the earth continually wait, they are not
They are calm, subtle, untransmissible by print,
They are imbued through all things
Conveying a sentiment and invitation, I utter and utter,
I speak not, yet if
you hear me not of what avail am I
To bear, to better, lacking these of what avail am I?
Will you rot your own fruit in yourself there?
Will you squat and stifle there?)
The earth does not argue,
Is not pathetic, has no arrangements,
Does not scream, haste, persuade, threaten,
Makes no discriminations, has no conceivable failures,
Closes nothing, refuses nothing, shuts
Of all the powers, objects, states, it notifies, shuts
The earth does not exhibit itself nor refuse to exhibit
itself, possesses still underneath,
ostensible sounds, the august chorus of
heroes, the wail of slaves,
Persuasions of lovers, curses, gasps
of the dying, laughter
of young people, accents of bargainers,
Underneath these possessing words that
To her children the words of the eloquent dumb great
mother never fail,
The true words do not fail, for
motion does not fail and
reflection does not fail,
Also the day and night do not fail, and the voyage we
pursue does not fail.
Of the interminable sisters,
Of the ceaseless cotillions of sisters,
Of the centripetal and centrifugal sisters,
the elder and
The beautiful sister we know dances on with the rest.
With her ample back towards every beholder,
With the fascinations of youth and the equal fascinations
Sits she whom I too love like the rest, sits undisturb'd,
Holding up in her hand what has the character
of a mirror,
while her eyes glance back from it,
Glance as she sits, inviting none, denying none,
mirror day and night tirelessly before her own