Poem of the Month
36

By Robert Melançon

Published on July 1, 2013

It all has to fit into twelve lines—a lesser sonnet—
all that’s depicted at every instant inside the cave
dug out by Plato for the chaining up of those

whom he deemed to be dupes of illusion. But in his
system’s sphere, the soul struggling to be free
had to swap for a stale whiteness, all pleasing things:

these wind-harrowed trees, the play of sun and shadow,
that pink-and-brown bird alighting on a wire.
So I shall settle for the paradise of what I see:

I trace this rectangle of twelve lines and
make of it a window through which to observe a
ll that appears, and that happens once only.

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