Poem of the Day 5

Wading at Wellfleet

In one of the Assyrian wars

a chariot first saw the light

that bore the sharp blades around its wheels.

 

That Chariot from Assyria

went rolling down mechanically

to take the warriors by the heels.

 

A thousand warriors in the sea

could not consider such a war

as that the sea itself contrives

 

but hasn’t put in action yet.

This mornings glitterings reveal

the sea is “all a case of knives.”

 

Lying so close, they catch the sun,

the spokes directed at the shin.

The chariot front is blue and great.

The war rests wholly with the waves:

they try revolving, but the wheels

give way; they will not bear the weight.

 

–Elizabeth Bishop

 

I hope you are reading these out loud.

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