– Il miglior Fabbro
Hey, Old Man –
One thing is clear:
We could not have stood each other,
too unlike spirits to keep converse.
Changing lives, I tarried in your house;
as you may know, if ever
your daemon and my angel parley.
I heard the cadence of the rain you knew,
coming down on the hill between Prospect
and the Little River.
I luxuriated in the falling of your light,
rolled myself up in the redolence
of your rotting leaves.
I shushed and muttered at your ghost,
when I wasn’t over busy with mine.
Man of business, you’d have had no truck
with this willful seeker skeptic,
intruding in your garden.
In your shadow I walked your walk,
stepped along remembering a certain blackbird,
the first I knew of you.
A good gait you had,
matched like your sartorial habitus
in all weathers, to suit time of day and season,
inward to work, outward home;
its parsing ever after setting the paces
beneath the offbeat pulsing
in the carcasses of your poems.
A little note on this: Half a century ago, when poetry first captured my fancy, Wallace Stevens was one of my favorites. By a strange twist of fate, when going through a mid-life change of direction I was invited to live in the house in the West End of Hartford he’d occupied during the years he worked as an executive for the Hartford Insurance Company for a few months. His spirit still pervaded the house and its surroundings.