28 July 2006

Susan Stewart

[from Susan Stewart's The Forest, 1995]


Who would name a child for sorrow?
(There in Tiepolo’s drawing of the Christ,
his infant hand playing in
a basin’s steam.) Who, naming
the child, would give rise to this?
For the child is unacquainted,
unfamiliar, and hears
a name as just a shape, a random
softness. Who would that a sorrow
become a child, a shadow stiffening
in time? Something entered
like a mantle, a prior
contract—not burning
itself, but capable.

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