Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Often I Am Permitted to Return to a Meadow

as if it were a scene made-up by the mind, 
that is not mine, but is a made place,

that is mine, it is so near to the heart, 
an eternal pasture folded in all thought 
so that there is a hall therein

that is a made place, created by light 
wherefrom the shadows that are forms fall.

Wherefrom fall all architectures I am 
I say are likenesses of the First Beloved 
whose flowers are flames lit to the Lady.

She it is Queen Under The Hill
whose hosts are a disturbance of words within words 
that is a field folded.

It is only a dream of the grass blowing 
east against the source of the sun 
in an hour before the sun's going down

whose secret we see in a children's game 
of ring a round of roses told.

Often I am permitted to return to a meadow 
as if it were a given property of the mind 
that certain bounds hold against chaos,

that is a place of first permission,
everlasting omen of what is.

Credit


by Robert Duncan, from The Opening of the Field. Copyright © 1960 by Robert Duncan. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corp.

Author


Robert Duncan

Born on January 7, 1919, in Oakland, California, Robert Duncan took an active role in emerging arts movements and communitites at the time—including Abstract Expressionism, Surrealism, the San Francisco Renaissance and Black Mountain College—and developed a style uniquely his own.

Date Published: 1960-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/often-i-am-permitted-return-meadow