faintly littered with bits and strokes of light

hole in the floor 6

Here’s another favorite poem , by Richard Wilbur:



A Hole in the Floor   by Richard Wilbur

for Rene Magritte


The carpenter’s made a hole

In the parlor floor, and I’m standing

Staring down into it now

At four o’clock in the evening,

As Schliemann stood when his shovel

Knocked on the crowns of Troy.


A clean-cut sawdust sparkles

On the grey, shaggy laths,

And here is a cluster of shavings

From the time when the floor was laid.

They are silvery-gold, the color

Of Hesperian apple-parings.


Kneeling, I look in under

Where the joists go into hiding.

A pure street, faintly littered

With bits and strokes of light,

Enters the long darkness

Where its parallels will meet.


The radiator-pipe

Rises in middle distance

Like a shuttered kiosk, standing

Where the only news is night.

Here’s it’s not painted green,

As it is in the visible world.


For God’s sake, what am I after?

Some treasure, or tiny garden?

Or that untrodden place,

The house’s very soul,

Where time has stored our footbeats

And the long skein of our voices?


Not these, but the buried strangeness

Which nourishes the known:

That spring from which the floor-lamp

Drinks now a wilder bloom,

Inflaming the damask love-seat

And the whole dangerous room.




<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/faint/”>Faint</a&gt;

Published by ahiggins2013

poet, birder, senior citizen, cancer survivor, Catholic sister. Eight books of poetry published: At the Year’s Elbow, Mellen Poetry Press 2000; Scattered Showers in a Clear Sky, Plain View Press 2007; chapbooks: Pick It Up and Read, Finishing Line Press 2008, How the Hand Behaves, Finishing Line Press 2009, Digging for God, Wipf and Stock 2010, Vexed Questions, Aldrich Press 2013, Reconnaissance, Texture Press 2014, and Life List, Finishing Line Press, 2015.

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