Geoffrey Hill, Yves Bonnefoy, Elie Wiesel


                      Geoffrey Hill, Yves Bonnefoy, Elie Wiesel

Light at dusk across the grass
salted with white crosses,
poppies... graph of losses
rounding up the Somme.  Mass

for the mass of young men gone.
On Cemetery Ridge
the plowmen made a bridge
of bone, unbreakable – and won

the day.  Coraggio, amigos.
Somnolent River
Time will shiver silver
when the last full measure flows

from infant veins, against the grain
of human servitude –
that dominant X (rude
chi-rho, nailed up in the brain).

In the barranca (by the monarchs’
den) the battered Consul
penetrated to the well
of Golgotha.  His mind sparks

like the last firefly of evening meadows...
a small emerald octagon,
or 4-leaf clover – moon
over Eire, over the raging shadows

of the nations.  Clue vero, Ariadne-
yarn.  A catenary
arc, or smile – an airy
rack of clouds, threading the Neva R.


George Bellows, Rain on the River (RI School of Design Museum of Art)

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