the clatter of their feathers

Out on the lake the coupled swans were drunk;
my handclap made them plunge; out there a head,
drinking the sacred, sobering water, sank.
A sunk
body kept tossing on its bed
of mud. This world, my world -
Oh sick of heart! I felt the winter freeze
the sunshine into ice. The seasoned shades
of fruit-trees in the autumn sunset fled.
The roses had departed on the wind,
the roses had parted to despair -
swans plunging through my mind,
the clatter of their feathers in the wind.
Robert Lowell, from 'The Seasons'.

Photo: Francesca Woodman, via.