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Text of Poem

Now catch your breath and hear the softly rounded
Shoot thundering into the yielding air.
These are crocus blooms the root has hounded
Day after day to grow, to develop and bear.
Even though snow, now lying in strips defeated
Under the lilac bush, might strike like a snake
At the open ground, the sky has been plucked and depleted.
The cloth has been shaken— see the last twisting flake
Grope for a twig and miss and dissolve in the air!
Beat up the blood in your heart and bleed like a tree
For the scars you receive, O winter-bound sleeper—prepare
For the thrust of a leaf, for a glimpse of a sky like the sea!
I retreat from a room grown too small, and the indifferent page,
And listen to the voice of the creek now angry and swollen,
And see the sun arch his back like a bee in a rage
As he sparkles the air with clouds of his yellow pollen.
And I wonder if people are given the promise and bloom
That is given the root and all this slow-rolling land
As they come from their houses. Is there escape from the tomb?
Do people forget their mortality saying, The spring is at hand?

First Line
Now catch your breath and hear the softly rounded
Original Pub Location
Original Publication Date
Original Citation
Poetry 47 (November 1935) 69.
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Bibliographic Notes

Originally published in tandem with "Barns in November" in Poetry Magazine under the overall title "Even Though Snow."