Featured Poem: Lear

Lear by William Carlos Williams

When the world takes over for us

and the storm in the trees

replaces our brittle consciences

(like ships, female to all seas)

when the few last yellow leaves

stand out like flags on tossed ships

at anchor—our minds are rested

Yesterday we sweated and dreamed

or sweated in our dreams walking

at a loss through the bulk of figures

that appeared solid, men or women,

but as we approached down the paved

corridor melted—Was it I?—like

smoke from bonfires blowing away

Today the storm, inescapable, has

taken the scene and we return

our hearts to it, however made, made

wives by it and though we secure

ourselves for a dry skin from the drench

of its passionate approaches we

yield and are made quiet by its fury

Pitiful lear, not even you could

out-shout the storm—to make a fool

cry! Wife to its power might you not

better have yielded it earlier? as on ships

facing the seas were carried once

the figures of women at repose to

signify the strength of the waves’ lash.

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