A Woman I have never seen before
Steps from the darkness of her town-house door
At just that crux of time when she is made
So beautiful that she or time must fade.
What use to claim that as she tugs her gloves
A phantom heraldry of all the loves
Blares from the lintel? That the staggered sun
Forgets, in his confusion, how to run?
Still, nothing changes as her perfect feet
Click down the walk that issues in the street,
Leaving the stations of her body there
As a whip maps the countries of the air.
From "New and Collected Poems" (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich), which is reviewed today on Page 3. 1988, Richard Wilbur. Reprinted by permission of Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.