background image
between matter and principle 283
wind's coming in, clear, heavy,
coursing the Channel from the
open seas to the northwest.
It is cold -- and could have crossed,
a week since, the Aleutians
from waters far back over
on the curving of the world;
it looks to be intently
cleansing this place of used air
in corners, of particles
on walks and in shrubbery;
students -- of the few still here --
crossing between library
and dorm are minor fi gures
blown bare and vivid in the
strong sparkle of the light, the
bleakness is energetic
as I enter South Hall. But
the main switch has been thrown, the
windows locked tight -- the air's dead
that had been well divided
and held in bright dry spaces
as of the mind itself, for
some feat of our attention --
as if a mind, having been
closed down, left a bitterness
suspended here -- a mind grave
and perhaps magnifi cent,
that had again been failed of,
and was again awaiting,
fatefully, some dominion.