You have to walk so close to the mirror Before your breath clouds the image You need to get a running start You need to get a running start To break through the refrain into repetition As exile's continuous form forms the same Words twice thrush thrush Drab bird unseen in the dark dark's underbrush Sung from the
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The wars are everywhere, o even within.
Drawn in poor bee by the dance loud hum
Of some other tribe, poor bee. Even the center, even the heart,
Keeps a sting sharp: art stings thought, thought stings art.
Petty realm of the long known. Are there other ways to learn to sing?
Clash of long dead blades in the fallow fields
And the wind that blows truce for an hour whistles loud the rash
Martial tune. Some scribe handles himself. “Use it,” sings the song.
Dan Beachy-Quick is the author, most recently, of A Brighter Word Than Bright: Keats at Work (Iowa University Press, 2013). He is a Monfort Professor teaching in the MFA Creative Writing Program at Colorado State University and lives in Fort Collins, Colorado.