purple is black blooming

Explicating the Twilight
Jack Gilbert

The rat makes her way up
the mulberry tree, the branches
getting thin and risky up close
to the fruit, and she slows.
The berry she is after is so ripe,
there is almost no red. Prospero
thinks of Christopher Smart saying
purple is black blooming. She lifts
her mouth to the berry, stretching.
The throat is an elegant gray.
A thousand shades, Christopher wrote
among the crazy people. A thousand
colors from white to silver.

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