Earth Your Dancing Place / by May Swenson

may-swenson

Beneath heaven’s vault
remember always walking
through halls of cloud
down aisles of sunlight
or through high hedges
of the green rain
walk in the world
highheeled with swirl of cape
hand at the swordhilt
of your pride
Keep a tall throat
Remain aghast at life

Enter each day
as upon a stage
lighted and waiting
for your step
Crave upward as flame
have keenness in the nostril
Give your eyes
to agony or rapture

Train your hands
as birds to be
brooding or nimble
Move your body
as the horses
sweeping on slender hooves
over crag and prairie
with fleeing manes
and aloofness of their limbs

Take earth for your own large room
and the floor of the earth
carpeted with sunlight
and hung round with silver wind
for your dancing place.

*
May Swenson
May Swenson was born on May 28, 1913, in Logan, Utah. She was a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 1980 to 1989. This year The Library of America published her Collected Poems.
Swenson died in 1989.

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