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January 28, 2005

Brain Candy

The Heaven of Animals

Here they are. The soft eyes open.
If they have lived in a wood
It is a wood.
If they have lived on plains
It is grass rolling
Under their feet forever.

Having no souls, they have come,
Anyway, beyond their knowing.
Their instincts wholly bloom
And they rise.
The soft eyes open.

To match them, the landscape flowers,
Outdoing, desperately
Outdoing what is required:
The richest wood,
The deepest field.

For some of these,
It could not be the place
It is, without blood.
These hunt, as they have done
But with claws and teeth grown perfect,

More deadly than they can believe.
They stalk more silently,
And crouch on the limbs of trees,
And their descent
Upon the bright backs of their prey

May take years
In a sovereign floating of joy.
And those that are hunted
Know this as their life,
Their reward: to walk

Under such trees in full knowledge
Of what is in glory above them,
And to feel no fear,
But acceptance, compliance.
Fulfilling themselves without pain

At the cycle's center,
They tremble, they walk
Under the tree,
They fall, they are torn,
They rise, they walk again.

James Dickey 1961

Posted by Dan at January 28, 2005 12:10 PM

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Where have all the great rhyming poets gone?

Posted by: Jim at January 28, 2005 01:26 PM


Whatever you do... don't mention rhyming at a poetry workshop! Unless of course, you're trying to cause trouble...

The Trouble Maker

Posted by: Cam at January 28, 2005 02:29 PM

All I'll say is that if you want to be a rhyming poet, never end a line with "month" ... lost a week of my life like that ...

Posted by: Jheka at January 28, 2005 09:55 PM

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