Monday, February 11, 2008

595. Equations Of A Villanelle - Howard Nemerov

The breath within us is the wind without,
In interchange unnoticed all our lives.
What if the same be true of world and thought?

Air is the ghost that comes and goes uncaught
Through the great system of lung and leaf that sieves
The breath within us and the wind without;

And utterance, or inspiration going out,
Is borne on air, on empty air it lives
To say the same is true of world and thought.

This is the spirit's seamless fabric wrought
Invisible, whose working magic gives
The breath within us to the wind without.

O great wind, blow through us despite our doubt,
Distilling all life's sweetness in the hives
Where we deny the same to world and thought,

Till death, the candle guttering to naught,
Sequesters every self as it forgives
The breath within us for the wind without;
What if the same be true of world and thought?

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