(Stephane Mallarme, 1866-67)

For Bradford Cook

It's an awesome thing, when fate takes you at your word 
at eighteen or twenty. If Dreams weren't greater than 
   Action. . . 
Happiness on this earth! One has to be pretty vulgar 
to stoop to it. When I wrote that, two months 
before marriage, Marie's weak chest 
seemed a kind of grace-note—the blood-hearted 
sharpening the wild-thing poignance of her eyes. . . 
And unhappiness? A curtain-line, a fling of the sleeve. 
Not, at any rate, this matter of two fatigues 
grinding each other; the worry when the child 
gives her slight cough; the bone-cold rooms, 
and happy, sometimes, for those. . . 
                                         Our move here was as moving 
is—one's old chair in the fall rain an hour 
because the men want coffee. . . The irksome part was the 
to be composed through it all; the need, after Tournon, 
to think about stopping rumors before they start.