William Carlos Williams

St. Francis Einstein of the Daffodils

On the first visit of Professor Einstein to the United States
                             in the spring of 1921. 

“Sweet land”
at last!
out of the sea —
the Venusremembering wavelets
rippling with laughter —
for the daffodils!
— in a tearing wind
that shakes
the tufted orchards —
Einstein, tall as violet
in the lattice-arbor corner
is tall as a blossomy peartree.

O Samos, Samos
dead and buried. Lesbia
a black cat in the freshturned
garden. All dead.
All flesh they sung
is rotten
Sing of it no longer —
Side by side young and old
take the sun together —
maples, green and red
and the vermilion quinceflower
together —

The peartree
with fetid blossoms
sways its high topbranches
with contrary motions
and there are both pinkflowered
and coralflowered peachtrees
in the bare chickenyard
of the old negro
with white hair who hides
poisoned fish-heads
here and there
where stray cats find them —
find them

Spring days
swift and mutable
winds blowing four ways
hot and cold
shaking the flowers —
Now the northeast wind
moving in fogs leaves the grass
cold and dripping. The night
is dark. But in the night
the southeast wind approaches.
The owner of the orchard
lies in bed
with open windows
and throws off his covers
one by one

spoken = Leon Branton