We make our meek adjustments, Contented with such random consolations As the wind deposits In slithered and too ample pockets. For we can still love the world, who find A famished kitten on the step, and know Recesses for it from the fury of the street, Or warm torn elbow coverts. We will sidestep, and to the final smirk Dally the doom of that inevitable thumb That slowly chafes its puckered index toward us, Facing the dull squint with what innocence And what surprise! And yet these fine collapses are not lies More than the pirouettes of any pliant cane; Our obsequies are, in a way, no enterprise. We can evade you, and all else but the heart: What blame to us if the heart live on. The game enforces smirks; but we have seen The moon in lonely alleys make A grail of laughter of an empty ash can, And through all sound of gaiety and quest Have heard a kitten in the wilderness.
Hart Crane - 1899-1932
My Grandmother's Love Letters
There are no stars tonight But those of memory. Yet how much room for memory there is In the loose girdle of soft rain. There is even room enough For the letters of my mother’s mother, Elizabeth, That have been pressed so long Into a corner of the roof That they are brown and soft, And liable to melt as snow. Over the greatness of such space Steps must be gentle. It is all hung by an invisible white hair. It trembles as birch limbs webbing the air. And I ask myself: "Are your fingers long enough to play Old keys that are but echoes: Is the silence strong enough To carry back the music to its source And back to you again As though to her?" Yet I would lead my grandmother by the hand Through much of what she would not understand; And so I stumble. And the rain continues on the roof With such a sound of gently pitying laughter.