Great Beginnings

James Merrill Nights and Days "Violent Pastoral"

In the short space of four lines Merrill paints a dynamic picture and sets the stage for bonding both creatures into a single arresting image.

Against a thunderhead's
Blue marble, the eagle
Mounts with the lamb in its clutch:
Two wings, four hooves,
And by poem's end we can only hope, in the contemplation of this hybrid of wing and fleece, to be like the shepherd "Still looking up, who understood / And was not turned to stone."

And so for day 1056