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The Magpie's Shadow by Yvor Winters | Poets.org

The Magpie's Shadow
by Yvor Winters

I. IN WINTER

Myself

Pale mornings, and

I rise.

Still Morning

Snow air--my fingers curl.

Awakening

New snow, O pine of dawn!

Winter Echo

Thin air! My mind is gone.

The Hunter

Run! In the magpie's shadow.

No Being

I, bent. Thin nights receding.

II. IN SPRING

Spring

I walk out the world's door.

May

Oh, evening in my hair!

Spring Rain

My doorframe smells of leaves.

Song

Why should I stop

for spring?

III. IN SUMMER AND AUTUMN

Sunrise

Pale bees! O whither now?

Fields

I did not pick

a flower.

At Evening

Like leaves my feet passed by.

Cool Nights

At night bare feet on flowers!

Sleep

Like winds my eyelids close.

The Aspen's Song

The summer holds me here.

The Walker

In dream my feet are still.

Blue Mountains

A deer walks that mountain.

God of Roads

I, peregrine of noon.

September

Faint gold! O think not here.

A Lady

She's sun on autumn leaves.

Alone

I saw day's shadow strike.

A Deer

The trees rose in the dawn.

Man in Desert

His feet run as eyes blink.

Desert

The tented autumn, gone!

The End

Dawn rose, and desert shrunk.

High Valleys

In sleep I filled these lands.

Awaiting Snow

The well of autumn--dry.

 

About This Poem

The Magpie's Shadow was published in 1922 as a collection of short, experimental poems. While studying at the University of Chicago, Winters was diagnosed with tuberculosis and decided to relocate to Santa Fe, New Mexico, for the sake of his health. His early poems, published in 1921 and 1922, were all written at a tuberculosis sanitarium.
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