“Turn Left”

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“Turn Left”

Turn left at fountains, then, to the south side
Of the park and memories of casual thought
On which he’s wont to sit and knead, the onslaught
Of mental detritus, an afterglow of present monthly tides
Reminding him of Dover Beach, some few sparks, the entrances
To evenings caught now between a season’s wealth
And dangers toward the eleventh month—the twelvth
The watchman’s rigour’s last—perhaps, the sure advance
Of scrutiny’s decay in a dynasty of years. Successes, they that take—
Hidden splendours—whose losses breed need and pleasure
Will at right angles bend beyond the simple measure
Of the lanes. All within the year’s end clearly underestimated
Magnitudes and the weight of regret for all that’s passed: remorseless,
the birth and death of stars evolving, conflicts of never-dying light;
The matter—ancient zircon’s azure oneness—will bless the heart by day
while nocturnal powers argue blatant blindness in the night.

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2 responses to ““Turn Left”

  1. This is one of your most beautiful poems (of the ones I’ve read, of course). It is lyrical and powerful and richly textured with thoughts and the sort of feelings that tremble and spill from a violin string. It led me to read Dover Beach, for the first time. I can see the connection. And your own melancholy notes resonate so well with Arnold’s. This one has magic.

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