Tuesday, March 13, 2007


You want to study
Your stars---the guards

Of your prison yard, their zodiac. The planets
Muttered their Babylonian power-sprach--
Like a witchdoctor's bones. You were right to fear
How loud the bones might hear
What the bones whispered
Even embedded as they were in the hot body.

Only you had no need to calculate
Degrees for your ascendant disruptor
In Aries. It meant nothing certain--no more
According to the Babylonian book
Than a scarred face. How much deeper
Under the skin could any magician peep?

You only had to look
Into the nearest face of a metaphor
Picked out of your wardrobe or off your plate
Or out of the sun or the moon or the yew tree
To see your father, your mother, or me
Bringing you your whole Fate.

-Ted Hughes

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