Academic journal article Field

James Madison

Academic journal article Field

James Madison

Article excerpt

When he stares in a mirror or a bowl of very still water he cocks his

head and imagines he is a horseman

who does not want to be a horseman. History, he has discerned, writes

its name on the walls of his veins.

Though peace may lie ahead, the great writing is done. What of days

when he could feel a nation in his ink

what of stars hardening under a Virginia sky and the streets of Paris

with their shopkeeps and children? Some are moved

by everything: pink skies, tobacco blooms, the elegies of birds. Tonight

shrikes are tapping on all the headstones

of Montpelier. Hollyhocks, tulip bulbs hard as stones, knots you knead

and knead out of a horse's back: the knobbly

fruit of labor. The knobbly eyes. A teacher in his rigid schoolhouse

used to speak of laws and spring and Greece; a great colossus

over Rhodes that one day the earth shook down. …

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