"I believe the poetry of Perse," Archibald MacLeish wrote* a few years ago, "which has been a powerful influence in the minds of many men who could not remember what it was that so deeply moved them but only that they were moved as a man might be moved by a fragrance he could not remember--that this poetry, like all true poetry, will take its place outside literature and all doctrine, in the desert sunlight where the stone survives."
The poet, who is now living in America, told the editor, "as to the choice of material, I have no wishes in the matter, you may choose what you will. Snows might be suitable."
AND THEN the snows came, the first snows of absence, on the great linens of dream and reality interwoven; and, with all their affliction remitted unto men of memory, there was a freshness of linen-cloths about our temples. And it was at morning, beneath the grey salt of dawn, a little before the sixth hour, as in a fortuitous haven, a place of grace and of mercy for releasing the swarms of the great odes of silence.
And all night long, unknown to us, under this lofty feat of feathers, bearing aloft the souls' vestiges, the souls' burden, lofty pumice stone cities bored through by luminous insects had not ceased growing, transcendent, forgetful of their weight. And those alone knew something of it, whose memories are uncertain, whose stories aberrant. What part the mind played in these notable things, that we know not.____________________