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Parable of the Dove

A dove lived in a village.

When it opened its mouth

sweetness came out, sound

like a silver light around

the cherry bough. But

the dove wasn’t satisfied.

It saw the villagers

gathered to listen under

the blossoming tree.

It didn’t think: I

am higher that they are.

It wanted to walk among them,

to experience the violence of human feeling,

in part for its song’s sake.

So it became human.

It found passion, it found violence,

first conflated, then

as separate emotions

and these were not

contained by music. Thus

its song changed,

the sweet notes of its longing to become human

soured and flattened. Then

the world drew back; the mutant

fell from love

as from the cherry branch,

it fell stained with the bloody

fruit of the tree.

So it is true after all, not merely

a rule of art:

change your form and you change your nature.

And time does this to us.

-Louise Gluck

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