By John Hollander
“Perfection is a unprecedented accomplishment, rather in American poetry, and the perfection of a lot of Hollander’s paintings makes it crucial interpreting for a person who certainly cares for the craft of poetry. yet in our fallen international we appear fated to worth energy of perfection, and John Hollander’s poetry has proven a visionary strength simply usually sufficient to safe him a spot as one of many significant figures of our moment.”
Vernon Shetley, The New Republic
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BREADTH. CIRCLE. wasteland. MONARCH. MONTH. knowledge. (for which there aren't any rhymes) now not as top rises into lightness Nor as size strengthens—say, the accepting eye Calmed via a longing of coastline— Breadth wields its bring up over not anything, to the better Glory of not anything: our undesirable size, but helpful. What the sq. can proportion of its rightness Extends a simply plainness; the convinced swerve of a Curve maintains past itself. yet O, the previous closure! Circle of will returning Inward to criminal, wrenching all tangencies again, Lest there be friendship Even in smart touchings that the urban solders with pity or with needing, Or of mountain’s detailed bond with The fountains gushing forth from it that cry out of excessive issues. Solitariness of wasteland ever Stretches out in useless, Lonely Monarch of all who survey Its wearying inclusiveness, topic to No real attachments as a fool’s To his toy device, jingling self-image, nor item of Blunderings that it retains ever breeding—wife of Self-created strife. Sole rondures of day unrolling remain The process of stillness, and among them and the bigger wheel of yr look The lunar counterturns in chilly, mirrored selfhood Of Month, unbound to sunlight yet merely slightly out Of section with its rounds. those solitaries! no matter if brilliant or Dim, unconstellated phrases rain down throughout the Darkness: after adolescence has burned out His tallow fact, and love, which above every little thing needs to grasp to note and physique, drains, knowledge continues to be complete, complete, unrhymable. Intone them then: Breadth Circle desolate tract Monarch Month knowledge no longer for no matter what spell They generate yet for his or her mere Inexorable syntax. The eye’s stream outward Claims its large dominions no longer via kinship, nor bond Of universal finishing. KRANICH AND BACH (A model of piano not made) lower than her golden willow a golden crane Hangs over golden water, stencilled at the Heavy lamplit brown of the solemn upright: Silence status in a pool of mirrored image? Or, if the brook’s waters rumble darkly on, Silence reflecting through a circulate of tune? No golden harp with golden wires relies from The vaulted department at the glossy varnished floor, Mirroring the ebony and ivory, And the flicker of golden from a wedding-band, And the earnest fingers of my negative father, who With forgotten hands performed as most sensible he may perhaps, Muttering, or maybe roaring out the texts: Erl-King strokes the boy; trout die of their now-dulled flow; the wan Double contains on in moonlight; Impatience stutters at the keys; water turns via its rippling figures, and regularly the previous guy, naked amid a number of tattered chords, nonetheless stands Grinding out his song, dyum de dum dum dum: “Both his toes are naked upon the frozen flooring, In his empty saucer no coin makes a valid. ” Lyre-man, i wouldn't comprehend for years that you just Stand on the finish of a trip of wintry weather To be in basic terms into its silence As i'm going to persist with my father into his. darkish less than the closed lid, Kranich and Bach wait, Silence status up one-leggedly in tune.