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The Curtain Analysis



Author: poem of Hayden Carruth Type: poem Views: 10

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Just over the horizon a great machine of death is roaring and



    rearing.

One can hear it always. Earthquake, starvation, the ever-



    renewing field of corpse-flesh.

In this valley the snow falls silently all day and out our window

We see the curtain of it shifting and folding, hiding us away in



    our little house,

We see earth smoothened and beautified, made like a fantasy, the



    snow-clad trees

So graceful in a dream of peace. In our new bed, which is big



    enough to seem like the north pasture almost

With our two cats, Cooker and Smudgins, lying undisturbed in



    the southeastern and southwestern corners,

We lie loving and warm, looking out from time to time.



    "Snowbound," we say. We speak of the poet

Who lived with his young housekeeper long ago in the



    mountains of the western province, the kingdom

Of complete cruelty, where heads fell like wilted flowers and



    snow fell for many months across the mouth

Of the pass and drifted deep in the vale. In our kitchen the



    maple-fire murmurs

In our stove. We eat cheese and new-made bread and jumbo



    Spanish olives

That have been steeped in our special brine of jalapeños and



    garlic and dill and thyme.

We have a nip or two from the small inexpensive cognac that



    makes us smile and sigh.

For a while we close the immense index of images



    which is

Our lives--for instance, the child on the Mescalero reservation



    in New Mexico in 1966

Sitting naked in the dirt outside his family's hut of tin and



    cardboard,

Covered with sores, unable to speak. But of course the child is



    here with us now,

We cannot close the index. How will we survive? We don't and



    cannot know.

Beyond the horizon a great unceasing noise is undeniable. The



    machine

May break through and come lurching into our valley at any



    moment, at any moment.

Cheers, baby. Here's to us. See how the curtain of snow wavers



    and falls back.






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