Mike Snider's Formal Blog at the Sonnetarium :
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Wednesday, April 14, 2004

This one's from the scientist Loren Eiseley:

The Spider

His science has progressed past stone,
His strange and dark geometries,
Impossible to flesh and bone,
Revive upon the passing breeze
The house the blundering foot destroys.
Indifferent to what is lost
He trusts the wind and yet employs
The jeweled stability of frost.
Foundations buried underfoot
Are forfeit to the mole and worm
But spiders know it and will put
Their trust in airy dreams more firm
Than any rock and raise from dew
Frail stairs the careless wind blows through.

This originally appeared in Poetry, and Eiseley published three books of poems. I have it in an old paperback copy of The Star Thrower (Harvest/HBJ Books, 1979) with an introduction by W. H. Auden, who in nine pages mentioned the poetry not at all, as if it were nothing special for a scientist to write poems this good. I've never seen any of Eiseley's poems in an anthology. What has happened?


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