Poem From Washington Upon Hearing the President Praise the War

Maybe men and women need to be quiet for part of the day

Like Orphic birds asleep on the tombs in Italy—

Tuck your head, sleep in the sidelong avian mysteries,

Sleep like the fritillaries in the cemetery grass.

Yes we need less talk. Our country is sick with talk.

We ought to be quiet—put down the telephones—

To inquire of the numberless dead

With the offertory of our minds alone,

No tongues, no tongues at all.


S.K.