Dry loaf By Wallace Stevens

Dry loaf
By Wallace Stevens

It is equal to living in a tragic land
To live in a tragic time.
Regard now the sloping, the mountainous rocks
And the river that batters its way over stones,
Regard the hovels of those that
live in this land.

That was what I painted behind the loaf,
The rocks not even touched by snow,
The pines along the river and
the dry men blown
Brown as the bread, thinking of birds
Flying from burning countries and brown sand

Birds that came like dirty water in waves
Flowing above the rocks,
flowing over the sky,
As if the sky was a current that bore them along,
Spreading them as waves spread
flat on the shore,
One after another washing the mountains bare.

It was the battering of drums I heard.
It was hunger, it was the hungry that cried
And the waves, the waves were
soldiers moving,
Marching and marching in a tragic time
Below me, on the asphalt, under the trees.

It was soldiers went marching over the rocks
And still the birds came, came in watery flocks,
Because it was spring and the birds had to come.
No doubt that soldiers had to be marching
And that drums had to be rolling, rolling, rolling.


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