(for Catlin Lowe, with a smile)
Browning starts his “Transcendentalism”
with the command: “Stop playing, poet!”
and here he (not Browning) stands, with his stark-naked thoughts,
embarrassingly enjambed, undraped in sights or sounds,
and Browning speaks to him.
Shouldn’t he just speak prose?
Stop making meaninglessly metered thoughts?
He would, if he could, yield to the breaking in
of the sudden rose—
live pliant fleshy
fragrant slow-motion boom!
But he cannot do it, let the sudden rose break in
over him, under, round him on every side.
He can only speak dry words.
He should stop playing poet.