I By the road to the contagious hospital under the surge of the blue mottled clouds driven from the northeast-a cold wind. Beyond, the waste of broad, muddy fields brown with dried weeds, standing and fallen patches of standing water the scattering of tall trees All along the road the reddish purplish, forked, upstanding, twiggy stuff of bushes and small trees with dead, brown leaves under them leafless vines- Lifeless in appearance, sluggish dazed spring approaches- They enter the new world naked, cold, uncertain of all save that they enter. All about them the cold, familiar wind- Now the grass, tomorrow the stiff curl of wildcarrot leaf One by one objects are defined- It quickens: clarity, outline of leaf But now the stark dignity of entrance-Still, the profound change has come upon them: rooted, they grip down and begin to awaken
William Carlos Williams - 1883-1963
My townspeople, beyond in the great world, are many with whom it were far more profitable for me to live than here with you. These whirr about me calling, calling! and for my own part I answer them, loud as I can, but they, being free, pass! I remain! Therefore, listen! For you will not soon have another singer. First I say this: you have seen the strange birds, have you not, that sometimes rest upon our river in winter? Let them cause you to think well then of the storms that drive many to shelter. These things do not happen without reason. And the next thing I say is this: I saw an eagle once circling against the clouds over one of our principal churches— Easter, it was—a beautiful day! three gulls came from above the river and crossed slowly seaward! Oh, I know you have your own hymns, I have heard them— and because I knew they invoked some great protector I could not be angry with you, no matter how much they outraged true music— You see, it is not necessary for us to leap at each other, and, as I told you, in the end the gulls moved seaward very quietly.