Hilda Doolittle


You are clear 
O rose, cut in rock, 
hard as the descent of hail. 
I could scrape the colour   
from the petals 
like spilt dye from a rock. 
If I could break you  
I could break a tree. 
If I could stir 
I could break a tree— 
I could break you. 
O wind, rend open the heat,   
cut apart the heat,  
rend it to tatters. 
Fruit cannot drop  
through this thick air—  
fruit cannot fall into heat  
that presses up and blunts  
the points of pears  
and rounds the grapes. 
Cut the heat— 
plough through it, 
turning it on either side  
of your path.