may swenson

WestWords Perfect Pair 29.06.2014

US poet May Swenson, was born to Swedish immigrant parents in Utah in 1913.  Her first collection of poems Another Animal, was published by Scribner in 1954. Other collections include A Cage of Spines (1958) and Half Sun Half Sleep (1967). She is also the author of three collections of poems for younger readers, a collection of essays, and a one-act play titled The Floor, produced in New York in the 1960s. This is:

By May Swenson

Beneath heaven’s vault
remember always walking
through halls of cloud
down aisles of sunlight
or through high hedges
of the green rain

walk in the world
highheeled with swirl of cape
hand at the swordhilt
of your pride
Keep a tall throat
Remain aghast at life

Enter each day
as upon a stage
lighted and waiting
for your step
Crave upward as flame
have keenness in the nostril
Give your eyes
to agony or rapture

Train your hands
as birds to be
brooding or nimble
Move your body
as the horses
sweeping on slender hooves
over crag and prairie
with fleeing manes
and aloofness of their limbs

Take earth for your own large room
and the floor of earth
carpeted with sunlight
and hung round with silver wind
for your dancing place