The delectable names of harsh places:
Cilicia Aspera, Estremadura.
In that smooth wave of cello-sound, Mojave,
We hear no ill of brittle parch and glare.
So late October’s pasture-fringe,
With aster-blur and ferns of toasted gold,
Invites to barrens where the crop to come
Is stone prized upward by the deepening freeze.
Speechless and cold the stars arise
On the small garden where we have dominion.
Yet in three tongues we speak of Taurus’ name
And of Aldebaran and the Hyades,
Recalling what at best we know,
That there is beauty bleak and far from ours,
Great reaches where the Lord’s delighting mind,
Though not inhuman, ponders other things.
I think it is very interesting how Wilbur brings up the fact that this names sound exotic, tangalizing, mysterious, yet they are HARSH, BRITTLE, not as soft as we picture. For example, the Mojave Desert is exquistite to look upon, but unbearable to be in. It’s an odd concept to think out..sometimes we’d rather be elsewhere, but elsewhere may be no better than where we are. We know that there is beauty “bleak and far from ours” , but these places are almost unaccesible to everyone but the Lord. The Lord’s mind, however, is concerned with other matters and although the Lord is “like us” and “not inhuman” he spends his time pondering other things…