When

Once out of nature I shall never take
My bodily form from any natural thing,
But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make…
William Butler Yeats


When I read it, it always wanders,
Sometimes it soars or sputters,
But never outright crashes;
If I recite it aloud, it roars
When it does not whimper or grimace:
An enlightened instant half-drowned.
When I read it, it frequently uncoils,
Sometimes it raises its head to my mouth,
But never reaches full height;         
If I whisper it to myself, it breathes
When it does not meet my lips and tongue:
A phantom rising from an unlit sea.
When I read it, it often changes shape,
Sometimes it flashes what it is and is not,
But still will not concede;
If the emperor deems to wake
When the bird of hammered gold takes flight:
A peculiar mark is left on incidental words.
 
So I pray to know, what is it?

© ross 2019
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must ask if you are talking about the poem by Yeats or about what you think this poem is about

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