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Poem by Hilda Doolittle
I have had enough. I gasp for breath. Every way ends, every road, every foot-path leads at last to the hill-crest -- then you retrace your steps, or find the same slope on the other side, precipitate. I have had enough -- border-pinks, clove-pinks, wax-lilies, herbs, sweet-cress. O for some sharp swish of a branch -- there is no scent of resin in this place, no taste of bark, of coarse weeds, aromatic, astringent -- only border on border of scented pinks. Have you seen fruit under cover that wanted light -- pears wadded in cloth, protected from the frost, melons, almost ripe, smothered in straw? Why not let the pears cling to the empty branch? All your coaxing will only make a bitter fruit -- let them cling, ripen of themselves, test their own worth, nipped, shrivelled by the frost, to fall at last but fair with a russet coat. Or the melon -- let it bleach yellow in the winter light, even tart to the taste -- it is better to taste of frost -- the exquisite frost -- than of wadding and of dead grass. For this beauty, beauty without strength, chokes out life. I want wind to break, scatter these pink-stalks, snap off their spiced heads, fling them about with dead leaves -- spread the paths with twigs, limbs broken off, trail great pine branches, hurled from some far wood right across the melon-patch, break pear and quince -- leave half-trees, torn, twisted but showing the fight was valiant. O to blot out this garden to forget, to find a new beauty in some terrible wind-tortured place.
Hilda Doolittle's other poems:
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