Prismed Autumn (an Imitation)
You who denigrate the Fall as nature’s end:
Have you beheld the brilliance of its dying?
It is not cloaked in mourning,
weighted by some sable hood,
but nakedly chromatic, variegated.
Vermilion and cobalt—
they are nature’s death.
You who dwell in walk-ups gaunt as closets:
Do you attend the wind-up crows’ escape?
Once fashioned by your hands,
they flee their time-contaminated cabinets
to slow and fail audaciously,
as vigorous in descent
as nature in death.
—on a Poem by Otto Dix from a Letter to Hans Bretschnieder (1911)
–Robert C. Hardin