Sunday, June 12, 2011

to the present visitors


.


.
Now we come to the famous classroom 
where every year a fortunate few
in the days of their youth study
autumn forgetting the numbers beforehand
as they have been doing since the words 
were all in Latin no cameras
allowed in here notice the slight breeze 
from the windows here among the trees
and the fragrance at the end of spring
notice the leaves outside the window frames
the new grass in the light of morning
notice the charts of colors on the walls
set in order and the moons in the calendars
the constellations the dark dials
the portraits of flowers still as the tables
here they study what is too far away
ever to grasp and too near to recognize
notice the leaves changing as we watch
then it will be summer and these studies
will be over and then it will be autumn
and most of them will be forgotten
notice the bell in place outside the door
and the dog lying near the foot of the stairs
waiting for a time that she remembers


.
~ W.S. Merwin
from Present Company
art by van gogh





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