David Meowie and Bing Catsby
and both will defeat the darkness
like twin drums beating in the forest
against the heavy wall of wet leaves.
Night crossing: black coal of dream
that cuts the thread of earthly orbs
with the punctuality of a headlong train
that pulls cold stone and shadow endlessly.
Love, because of it, tie me to a purer movement,
to the grip on life that beats in your breast,
with the wings of a submerged swan,
So that our dream might reply
to the sky’s questioning stars
with one key, one door closed to shadow.
Traces (for a mechanical heart)
This morning your heart stopped working.
They phoned me first –
My old address card was in your pocket.
You were wearing the suit we found
Together in Chelsea, the grey flannel,
Rien: You always said to me,
‘Why don’t you stop writing poems for a…
The tree lay down
on the garage roof
and stretched, You
have your heaven,
it said, go to it.
William Carlos Williams, from The Collected Poems of William Carlos Williams, Volume II, 1939-1962
—William Carlos Williams, Poetry, January 1921
Find out which of Poetry’s editors Williams wrote this poem for in 100 Years of Poetry: ‘In the Middle of Major Men.’