The Object

. . . celui qui trouve son emploi dans la 
contemplation d’une pierce verte . . . 
                           —St.-John Perse

He who finds his business in the slow, 
persistent study of one green stone, 
even a plain one chosen, let us say, 
from a plenitude of greater green;

and who, in choosing green, abandons blue 
to its own scholar, snubs all reds, rejects 
the dark persuasions of persistent black; 
and whose choice of stone as well reflects

the surface of a world neglected—not 
without pain, but without regret—of things 
crying out their equal worth, their need 
to have their facets noted, diamond rings

and the humblest wooden chair alike 
in the futile clamor of the claims they make 
upon the student, who, studying his one 
green stone, considers that, and that alone.