Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Anguished Morning (de Chirico), Sonnet #361

Morning light steals darkness from its hiding places.
The unadorned plastered wall or triumphal arch
Outlines the visible by what it erases.
With each second the shadows go colder and parch.
After dawn the dark runs flat and dense from the square
Over vast lawns up the side of the cathedral.
A locomotive engine with its human bawl
Stops silently for a few hours, won’t be where
Decades ago before the wars the tracks were laid —
It wanders up the plaza like a drunken shade.
We don’t venture then into the shadows or sun.
A fool would let himself be caught by either one.
Morning light steals our souls from their hiding places,
Defining what we are by what it erases.