To Make a Prairie

Song Cycle by Timothy Hoekman

Word count: 263

1. To make a prairie [sung text not yet checked]

To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee, -
One clover, and a bee,
And revery.
The revery alone will do
If bees are few.

Authorship

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. She sweeps with many-colored brooms [sung text not yet checked]

She sweeps with many-colored brooms,
And leaves the shreds behind;
Oh, housewife in the evening west,
Come back, and dust the pond!
  
You dropped a purple ravelling in,
You dropped an amber thread;
And now you 've littered all the East
With duds of emerald!
  
And still she plies her spotted brooms,
And still the aprons fly,
Till brooms fade softly into stars --
And then I come away.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. It sifts from leaden sieves [sung text not yet checked]

It sifts from leaden sieves,
It powders all the wood,
It fills with alabaster wool
The wrinkles of the road.

It makes an even face
Of mountain and of plain, -
Unbroken forehead from the east
Unto the east again.

It reaches to the fence,
It wraps it, rail by rail,
Till it is lost in fleeces;
[It flings a crystal veil]1

[On]2 stump and stack and stem, -
[The]3 summer's empty room,
Acres of [seams]4 where harvests were,
Recordless, but for them.

It ruffles wrists of posts,
As ankles of a queen, -
Then stills its artisans like ghosts,
Denying they have been.

Authorship

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Hoekman: "It deals Celestial Vail"
2 Hoekman: "To"
3 Hoekman: "A"
4 Hoekman: "Joints"

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Malcolm Wren [Guest Editor]

4. Two butterflies went out at noon [sung text not yet checked]

Two butterflies went out at noon
And waltzed [above a stream]1,
Then stepped straight through the firmament
And rested on a beam;

And then together bore away
Upon a shining sea, -
Though never yet, in any port,
Their coming mentioned be.

If spoken by the distant bird,
If met in ether sea
By frigate or by merchantman,
[Report was not]2 to me.

Authorship

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , no title, copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Hoekman: "upon a Farm"
2 Hoekman: "No notice was"

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Malcolm Wren [Guest Editor]