I picked the next poem in my 3+1 Things project–most of the final section of “Ash Wednesday,” by our buddy Tom Eliot–to coincide with Lent and Easter. (Actually, they’re all seasonally appropriate–“Starlings in Winter” falls in December, Dark Harbor comes in summer, etc.)

Since today is indeed the actual Ash Wednesday in the Christian calendar, I guess it’s time to move on from “The Poems of Our Climate” and start memorizing this one:

Although I do not hope to turn again
Although I do not hope
Although I do not hope to turn

Wavering between the profit and the loss
In this brief transit where the dreams cross
The dreamcrossed twilight between birth and dying
(Bless me father) though I do not wish to wish these things
From the wide window towards the granite shore
The white sails still fly seaward, seaward flying
Unbroken wings

And the lost heart stiffens and rejoices
In the lost lilac and the lost sea voices
And the weak spirit quickens to rebel
For the bent golden-rod and the lost sea smell
Quickens to recover
The cry of quail and the whirling plover
And the blind eye creates
The empty forms between the ivory gates
And smell renews the salt savour of the sandy earth