Spring and All (1923) [and 1533]

better ox eye jlmdm

         Rose

 The rose is obsolete
 but each petal ends in
 an edge, the double facet
 cementing the grooved
 columns of air--The edge
 cuts without cutting
 meets--nothing--renews
 itself in metal or porcelain--

 whither? It ends--

 But if it ends
 the start is begun
 so that to engage roses
 becomes a geometry--

 Sharper, neater, more cutting
 figured in majolica--
 the broken plate
 glazed with a rose

 Somewhere the sense
 makes copper roses
 steel roses--

 The rose carried weight of love
 but love is at an end--of roses

 It is at the edge of the
 petal that love waits

 Crisp, worked to defeat
 laboredness--fragile
 plucked, moist, half-raised
 cold, precise, touching

 What

 The place between the petal's
 edge and the

 From the petal's edge a line starts
 that being of steel
 infinitely fine, infinitely
 rigid penetrates
 the Milky Way
 without contact--lifting
 from it--neither hanging
 nor pushing--

 The fragility of the flower
 unbruised
 penetrates space

William Carlos Williams
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