Sunday, January 11, 2009

Bare Ruin'd Choirs

Walking in the gray light in Central Park today and looking at the bare trees in the snow, I thought of Shakespeare's Sonnet 73:
That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou seest the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death's second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire
Consumed with that which it was nourish'd by.
This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.
I do not generally think of myself as being anywhere near twilight; 2 p.m. maybe, with an espresso and some petits fours. But occasionally, the fire that's driven me seems self-consuming, and I can't remember why I lit it in the first place, or how to keep it ablaze.

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