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Sadness and Happiness

by Robert Pinsky

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From Sadness and Happiness: Poems by Robert Pinsky: CEREMONY FOR ANY BEGINNING Robert Pinsky ? Against weather, and the random Harpies--mood, circumstance, the laws Of biography, chance, physics-- The unseasonable soul holds forth, Eager for form as a renowned Pedant, the emperor's man of worth, Hereditary arbiter of manners. Soul, one's life is one's enemy. As the small children learn, what happens Takes over, and what you were goes away. They learn it in sardonic soft Comments of the weather, when it sharpens The hard surfaces of daylight: light Winds, vague in direction, like blades Lavishing their brilliant strokes All over a wrecked house, The nude wallpaper and the brute Intelligence of the torn pipes. Therefore when you marry or build Pray to be untrue to the plain Dominance of your own weather, how it keeps Going even in the woods when not A soul is there, and how it implies Always that separate, cold Splendidness, uncouth and unkind-- On chilly, unclouded mornings, Torrential sunlight and moist air, Leafage and solid bark breathing the mist.… (more)
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From Sadness and Happiness: Poems by Robert Pinsky: CEREMONY FOR ANY BEGINNING Robert Pinsky ? Against weather, and the random Harpies--mood, circumstance, the laws Of biography, chance, physics-- The unseasonable soul holds forth, Eager for form as a renowned Pedant, the emperor's man of worth, Hereditary arbiter of manners. Soul, one's life is one's enemy. As the small children learn, what happens Takes over, and what you were goes away. They learn it in sardonic soft Comments of the weather, when it sharpens The hard surfaces of daylight: light Winds, vague in direction, like blades Lavishing their brilliant strokes All over a wrecked house, The nude wallpaper and the brute Intelligence of the torn pipes. Therefore when you marry or build Pray to be untrue to the plain Dominance of your own weather, how it keeps Going even in the woods when not A soul is there, and how it implies Always that separate, cold Splendidness, uncouth and unkind-- On chilly, unclouded mornings, Torrential sunlight and moist air, Leafage and solid bark breathing the mist.

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