A few months before the outbreak
of the Second World War, I took
a walk with Thomas Mann . . ..
Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow
Aldous Huxley and Thomas Mann by the light
Gold after-light of a California sunset,
Strolled with their wives on a deserted beach
And spoke of Shakespeare, music, and Modern Love:
Was the Bitter Barren Woman of today
Even less knowable than the Fertile Goddess?