“Pastoral” by William Carlos Williams

The little sparrows
Hop ingenuously
About the pavement
With sharp voices
Over those things
That interest them.
But we who are wiser
Shut ourselves in
On either hand
And no one knows
Whether we think good
Or evil.
                    Then again,
The old man who goes about
Gathering dog lime
Walks in the gutter
Without looking up
And his tread
Is more majestic than
That of the Episcopal minister
Approaching the pulpit
Of a Sunday.
These things
Astonish me beyond words.

– William Carlos Williams, “Pastoral

5 thoughts on ““Pastoral” by William Carlos Williams

      1. Mike Mirarchi

        Thanks for that link, Brian! I’m going to read those lines as lines about an old man gathering dog poop to use as fertilizer. I can see how the majesty of an old man gathering dog poop could be astonishing beyond words. 🙂


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