Thursday Poem


Woke sleeping on the floor in a hotel room— Bos’n &
Chief Cook on the bed. Got outside and found a place to eat,
all soup and bread in mutton-smelling room; soup dashed with
vinegar. Then found a map and worked my way up the hills
and alleys to Hagia Sophia. What emptiness, what coolness. I
was alone in it. Mary and child mosaic—shivering and
half-crying, the image of lost ceremony, heart and splendor,
once hanging lamps and echoing chants beneath the dome.

Gary Snyder
Earth House Hold
New Directions Books, 1969