William Carlos Williams – The Descent


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The descent beckons
As the ascent beckoned

Memory is a kind
Of accomplishment
A sort of renewal
An initiation, since the spaces it opens are new places
Inhabited by hordes
Heretofore unrealized
Of new kinds—
Since their movements
Are toward new objectives
(even though formerly they were abandoned)

No defeat is made up entirely of defeat—since
The world it opens is always a place
Unsuspected. A
World lost
A world unsuspected
Beckons to new places
And no whiteness (lost) is so white as the memory
Of whiteness

With evening, love wakens
Though its shadows
Which are alive by reason
Of the sun shining—
Grow sleepy now and drop away
From desire

Love without shadows stirs now
Beginning to awaken
As night

The descent
Made up of despairs
And without accomplishment
Realizes a new awakening:
Which is a reversal
Of despair
For what we cannot accomplish, what
Is denied to love
What we have lost in the anticipation—
A descent follows
Endless and indestructible

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