Swan and Shadow


                              Dusk
                        Above the
                  water hang the
                                 loud
                               flies
                              Here
                             O so
                            gray
                           then
                          What                              A pale signal will appear
                        When                     Soon before its shadow fades
                      Where                  Here in this pool of opened eye
                        In us             No Upon us As at the very edges
                          of where we take shape in the dark air
                            this object bares its image awakening
                              ripples of recognition that will
                                brush darkness up into light
even after this bird this hour both drift by atop the perfect sad instant now
                                already passing out of sight
                              toward yet-untroubled reflection
                             this image bears its object darkening
                            into memorial shades Scattered bits of
                           light           No of water Or something across
                          water                 Breaking up No Being regathered
                           soon                      Yet by then a swan will have
                            gone                               Yes out of mind into what
                             vast
                              pale
                                hush
                                  of a
                                    place
                                     past
                    sudden dark as
                              if a swan
                                 sang


John Hollander, Types of Shape, Yale University Press, 1968.