Monet’s Haystacks by Robert Bly

Monet’s Haystacks

It’s strange that our love of beauty should lead us to hell.
I caught one glimpse of you, and a moment later
my house and books were all thrown into the fire.
Plato wrote by the light from sharks’ teeth.
There is always terror near the Quiet Garden.
If we have come to a bad end, let’s blame beauty.
The horses of sorrow are always restless, breaking
out of fences, trampling the neighbors’ garden.
The best odes are written by pirates in the moonlight.
When Monet glimpsed the haystack shining in fall dawn,
knowing that despair and reason live in the same house,
he cried out: “I have loved God!” And he had.
I walked down the aisles of the grocery, weeping.
Gleams of light came off my hair when I saw you,
and I found myself instantly under the horses’ hooves.
My improvidence was to have been too hopeful.
My improvidence was not to see the fall.
I apologize to those in hell for my disturbances. 

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