Poetry Friday: The Black Swan by James Merrill


The Black Swan
by James Merrill

Black on flat water past the jonquil lawns
Riding, the black swan draws
A private chaos warbling in its wake,
Assuming, like a fourth dimension, splendor
That calls the child with white ideas of swans
Nearer to that green lake
Where every paradox means wonder.

Though the black swan’s arched neck is like
A question-mark on the lake,
The swan outlaws all possible questioning:
A thing in itself, like love, like submarine
Disaster, or the first sound when we wake;
And the swan-song it sings
Is the huge silence of the swan.

Illusion: the black swan knows how to break
Through expectation, beak
Aimed now at its own breast, now at its image,
And move across our lives, if the lake is life,
And by the gentlest turning of its neck
Transform, in time, time’s damage;
To less than a black plume, time’s grief.

Interesting notes:
The Black Swan is native to Australia.
The Black Swan Theory states a black swan is “a large-impact, hard-to-predict, and rare event beyond the realm of normal expectations.”  Check out the book.
   
Kelly Fineman is hosting Poetry Friday today.  Go over here for a poetry feast.  
Share and Enjoy:
  • email
  • Add to favorites
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • StumbleUpon
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Posterous
  • RSS
  • Reddit
  • Tumblr

Vivian Lee Mahoney

Consider yourself warned: I write books about rebels. I'm also a postergirlz for readergirlz, a literary advisory group for teens. Who knew going back to the teenage years would be so rewarding?

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterPinterest