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Richard Wilbur - Love Calls Us To The Things Of This World

The eyes open to a cry of pulleys,
And spirited from sleep, the astounded
Hangs for a moment bodiless and
As false dawn.
                      Outside the open window
The morning air is all awash with

     Some are in bed-sheets, some are
                                              in blouses,
Some are in smocks: but truly there
                                                they are.
Now they are rising together in calm
Of halcyon feeling, filling whatever they
With the deep joy of their impersonal

     Now they are flying in place,
The terrible speed of their
                           omnipresence, moving
And staying like white water; and now
                                            of a sudden
They swoon down in so rapt a quiet
That nobody seems to be there.
                                     The soul shrinks

    From all that it is about to remember,
From the punctual rape of every
                                           blessed day,
And cries,
               "Oh, let there be nothing on
                                  earth but laundry,
Nothing but rosy hands in the rising
And clear dances done in the sight of

     Yet, as the sun acknowledges
With a warm look the world's hunks
                                             and colors,
The soul descends once more in bitter
To accept the waking body, saying now
In a changed voice as the man yawns
                                               and rises,

     "Bring them down from their ruddy
Let there be clean linen for the backs
                                              of thieves;
Let lovers go fresh and sweet to be
And the heaviest nuns walk in a pure
Of dark habits,
                       keeping their difficult

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Added: Feb 21 2003 | Viewed: 310 times | Comments and analysis of Love Calls Us To The Things Of This World by Richard Wilbur Comments (1)

Love Calls Us To The Things Of This World - Comments and Information

Poet: Richard Wilbur
Poem: Love Calls Us To The Things Of This World
Volume: Things of This World
Year: Published/Written in 1956

Comment 1 of 1, added on February 24th, 2010 at 1:10 AM.
quotidian observations

Who has ever spoken so eloquently about laundry drying on the line? Or spoken with such love about the joy of another blessed day?

Cathy Gibbons from United States

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