Earlier today, we announced that Richard Howard will receive The Paris Review’s 2017 Hadada Award. To celebrate, we’re sharing “On Tour,” a poem by Howard from our Summer 1956 issue.
It is the movement that disturbs the line.
Thickening the form.
Turning into warm
Compression what had once been cold and fine.
Seen from down here, if only we remained.
These hills are high:
Driving on, the sky
Imposes, and no longer can be trained
By any structure of the seeming ground.
Landscape, I discover,
As the car gains over
Something that changes from a little mound
To monstrous eminence before your eyes.
Landscape can flaunt, can
Fail like the heart of man:
And when you see the difference in size
Of cliffs we once considered at the bright
Grass along their peak
And then saw from the bleak
Extremity of sand below, the sight
Gives more than pause—alas, it gives the slow
Ruin of our hopes
Fed upon the slopes
From where we’ve been to where we want to go.
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