Here is the jumping boy, the boy
who jumps as I speak.
He is at home on the king’s highway,
in call of the tall house, its blind
gable end, the trees—I know this place.
The road, on broad contourings drawn out of sight,
stops—wherever—but not at Lyonnesse,
though from Lyonnesse I shall bring you,
through grimed orchards, across gorse-hummocked
old common land everywhere given back
to the future of memory.


He leaps because he has serious
joy in leaping. The girl’s
eyes no way allowed for, or else
she is close in covert and we
are to know that, not knowing how.
I’ll bet she worships his plebeian
bullet head, Hermes’ winged
plimsolls, the crinkled toy tin hat
held on by elastic. He is winning
a momentous and just war
with gravity.


This may be levitation. I
could do that. Give my remembrance
to his new body. These episodes occur.


Jump away, jumping boy; the boy I was
shouts go.

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 24 Number 5, on page 44
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