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Question for My Father

By William Wenthe Poetry

When I look up, into the needles of the cypress tree, brown in November, I see cinnamon—I see wood of violins, breast feathers of the sedge wren, a setter’s fur, toasted grain…. I see the cypress glowing within a cloudless noon, pale blue at horizon as background of a Botticelli annunciation, that turns unpaintably, achingly…

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A Photograph from the Hubble Telescope

By William Wenthe Poetry

These luminous clouds and whorls of amethyst, jade, and coral are transmitted down to earth as a babble of data: monochrome of linty gray that arrives in computers at NASA, gets filtered out, and colored in with a menu of splendid hues: the better to illuminate the original edge of the universe, and imagine the…

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George Herbert on the Road to Salisbury

By William Wenthe Poetry

That if he loved himself he should be merciful to his beast: the gist of what Herbert said to the man whose horse had “fallen under its load.” He was on his way to play music he called his heaven upon earth; but stopped to help the man unload the horse. I like to imagine…

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Stone on Stone: Israel, 1980

By William Wenthe Poetry

  I stood in the Jaffa Gate and played harmonica for tips. A cluster of men in Arab dress surrounded me, bewildered, smiling. They had never heard a harmonica before, nor could they see, behind my hands, this sound I held to my lips. The long cry of the muezzin, undulating among corbelled roofs, towers,…

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Impromptu Novena in September

By William Wenthe Poetry

Understand the light, then, and recognize it ————————–—Corpus Hermeticum ——————–Memory is a kind of accomplishment ————————William Carlos Williams I Birdsong on the book page, birdsong on the brown rug; fanfare of birdsong above the radio orchestra; birdsong in shafted light of the wooden blinds. In one moment I heard them—by which I mean they’d all…

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