Lyrics: II (17)
First, a poem must be magical,
Then musical as a sea-gull.
It must be a brightness moving
And hold secret a bird’s flowering.
It must be slender as a bell,
And it must hold fire as well.
It must have the wisdom of bows
And it must kneel like a rose.
It must be able to hear
The luminance of dove and deer.
It must be able to hide
What it seeks, like a bride.
And over all I would like to hover
God, smiling from the poem’s cover.
Copyright © 1941, 1942, renewed © 1970 by Jose Garcia Villa; from Doveglion: Collected Poems by Jose Garcia Villa, edited by John Edwin Cowen. Used by permission of Penguin Books, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved.