You asked so little: only that one day
A rose be named after you; and today,
After last night’s musings, in this summer
That returns me to you—still swimming
In the wave that first pulled me to the long
Flowing script of your elegies, the whorled
Shell of your sonnets, the ebb and flow
Of knowledge and loss in the halting cadence
A body assumes as the shoreline is claimed
By the tide—today I have come up
With a name, though I haven’t yet planted
The flower, and am far from finding a plot
For the garden that will nourish and sustain
The light of this new rose, Rilke’s Nightfall.

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 5 Number 2, on page 51
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