William Carlos Williams

Three Sonnets

As the eye lifts, the field
is moving —- the river,
slowly between the stones
steadily under the bare
branches, heavy slabs close
packed with jagged rime-cupped
edges, seaward —-

what was the mudbank
crowded, sparkling
with diamonds big as fists,
unbelievable to witness

The silent and snowy mountains
do not change their
poise —- the broken line,
the mass whose darkness
meets the rising sun, waken
uncompromised above the gulls
upon the ice-strewn

        You cannot succor me,
you cannot change. I will
open my eyes at morning even though
their lids be sealed
faster by ice than stone!

My adored wife, this —- in spite
of Dr. Kennedy’s remark
that the story of the repeated
injury would sound bad in a divorce
court —- the bastard.

In the one woman
I find all the rest —- or nothing
and raise them thence and celebrate
them there and close their eyes
and bury them in her and
decorate their graves. Upon her
their memory clings, each one
distinct, enriching her
while I yet live to enjoy, perhaps.

spoken = Leon Branton