Leda, After the Swan
Perhaps, in the exaggerated grace of his weight settling, the wings raised, held in strike-or-embrace position, I recognized something more than swan, I can't say. There was just this barely defined shoulder, whose feathers came away in my hands, and the bit of world left beyond it, coming down to the heat-crippled field, ravens the precise color of sorrow in good light, neither black nor blue, like fallen stitches upon it, and the hour forever, it seemed, half-stepping its way elsewhere-- then everything, I remember, began happening more quickly.
From In the Blood by Carl Phillips, published by Northeastern University Press. Copyright © 1992 by Carl Phillips. Reprinted with the permission of Northeastern University Press. All rights reserved.
Carl Phillips is the author of several books including Pale Colors in a Tall Field (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2020) .He is Professor of English at Washington University in St. Louis.
Date Published: 1992-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/leda-after-swan