Robert Lowell, distinguished American poet, received Pulitzer Prizes for Lord Weary's Castle and The Dolphin. His other books have included Life Studies, For the Union Dead, Notebook, and History.
Poet of purity and of parsimony
using one sense at a time, sparingly.
Salt-bleaching white the whiteness of light,
straining the hemp, not nylon line,
scraping the wood to bare the silk grain.
Searching in attics and sheds,
of life, salvaging shards and scraps,
of truth, parts of dead poets,
pieces of gods.
Myopic, in storms, you cross
the bridge of the faulted rocks
double agent of doubt, smuggler of truth.
Poet-Priest of the bitter sacrament
what is behind the door in man's house,
what is beneath the cross in God's house?
Look through your less dark glass,
daring as much for man as for God.