John Ashbery

· Poem of the day


Is it possible that spring could be

once more approaching? We forget each time

what a mindless business it is, porous like sleep,

adrift on the horizon, refusing to take sides, "mugwump

of the final hour," lest an agenda—horrors!—be imputed to it,

and the whole point of its being spring collapse

like a hole dug in sand. It's breathy, though,

you have to say that for it.

And should further seasons coagulate

into years, like spilled, dried paint, why,

who's to say we weren't provident? We indeed

looked out for others as though they mattered, and they,

catching the spirit, came home with us, spent the night

in an alcove from which their breathing could be heard clearly.

But it's not over yet. Terrible incidents happen

daily. That's how we get around obstacles.

—John Ashbery (Selected poems)

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