Make and be eaten, the poet says,

Lie in the arms of nightlong fire,

To celebrate the waking, wake.

Burn in the daylong light; and praise

Even the mother unappeased,

Even the fathers of desire.


Blind go the days, but joy will see

Agreements of music; they will wind

The shaking of your dance; no more

Will the ambiguous arm-waves spell

Confusion of the blessing given.


Only and finally declare

Among the purest shapes of grace

The waking of the face of fire,

The body of waking and the skill

To make your body such a shape

That all the eyes of hope shall stare.


That all the cries of fear shall know,

Staring in their bird-pierced song;

Lines of such penetration make

That shall bind our loves at last.

Then from the mountains of the lost,

All the fantasies shall wake,

Strong and real and speaking turn

Wherever flickers your unreal.


And my strong ghosts shall fade and pass

My love start fiery as grass

Wherever burn my fantasies,

Wherever burn my fantasies.


April 1955

“Song” from Body of Waking by Muriel Rukeyser.



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