Apart in air
Hangs like hair
Itself in strands
Of water falling
The cliff stands
Such a small but intensely beautiful poem. The lines themselves echo the image so perfectly, first the falling of the water, then the liquid curtain suspended in the air for an instant, then the falling water again. And finally, the immutable fact of the cliff bringing the poem up short. About as deft a description of a waterfall as I can imagine. And the only one I know that you could actually read in the time it takes for water to reach from the top of a waterfall to the bottom.
P.S. My thanks to the Cheshire Cat, who first introduced me to Menashe.
Some more Menashe poems here
See also David Orr’s piece in the New York Times discussing Menashe’s being awarded the Library of America’s ‘Neglected Masters Award’ (finally, a prize I can shoot for!).