Sunday, August 31, 2008

Louis MacNeice: The Introduction

(Link. I read MacNeice's Collected a long time ago; he kind of trailed off in the forties before picking up in the late fifties, and so I gave up before this very good late poem.)

The Introduction
Louis MacNeice

They were introduced in a grave glade
And she frightened him because she was young
And thus too late. Crawly crawly
Went the twigs above their heads and beneath
The grass beneath their feet the larvae
Split themselves laughing. Crawly crawly
Went the cloud above the treetops reaching
For a sun that lacked the nerve to set
And he frightened her because he was old
And thus too early. Crawly crawly
Went the string quartet that was tuning up
In the back of the mind. You two should have met
Long since, he said, or else not now.
The string quartet in the back of the mind
Was all tuned up with nowhere to go.
They were introduced in a green grave.

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