The west was getting out of gold,
The breath of air had died of cold,
When shoeing home across the white,
I thought I saw a bird alight.
In summer when I passed the place
I had to stop and lift my face;
A bird with an angelic gift
Was singing in it sweet and swift.
No bird was singing in it now.
A single leaf was on a bough,
And that was all there was to see
In going twice around the tree.
From my advantage on a hill
I judged that such a crystal chill
Was only adding frost to snow
As gilt to gold that wouldn’t show.
A brush had left a crooked stroke
Of what was either cloud or smoke
From north to south across the blue;
A piercing little star was through.
I sometimes write about the 30’s because
they were a good training ground.
people learned to live with adversity
as a common everyday thing
when trouble came
they adjusted and made the next move,
and if there wasn’t one
they often created
and the people who HAD jobs
did them with artistry.
a garage mechanic could FIX your
doctors made house calls.
cab drivers not only knew every
street in town
but they were also versed in
pharmacists would walk up to you
in drugstores and ask you what you
the ushers in movie houses were more
handsome than the movie
people made their own clothes,
repaired their own shoes.
almost everybody did things well.
now people in and out of their
professions are totally
how they even wipe their own asses
is beyond me.
and when adversity arrives they are
spit it out,
these, coddled to the extremes
are only used to victory or
the soft way.
it’s not their fault, I suppose,
that they didn’t live
through the 30’s
but I’m still hardly tempted to
INEZ: Prove it. Prove it was no dream. It’s what one does, and nothing else, that shows the stuff one’s made of.
GARCIN: I died too soon. I wasn’t allowed time to - to do my deeds.
INEZ: One always dies too soon - or too late. And yet one’s whole life is complete at that moment, with a line drawn neatly under it, ready for the summing up. You are - your life, and nothing else.