“I made sure I had got to the edge of the stone. That was all the name there was – Meda. So, it was true that she was called by that name in the family. Not just in the poem. Or perhaps she chose her name from the poem, to be written on her stone.
I thought that
there wasn’t anybody alive in the world but me who would know this, who would
make the connection. And I would be the last person to do so. But perhaps this
isn’t so. People are curious. A few people are. They will be driven to find
things out, even trivial things. They will put things together. You see them
going around with notebooks, scraping the dirt off gravestones, reading
microfilms, just in the hope of seeing this trickle in time, making a
connection, rescuing one thing from the rubbish.
And they may get it wrong, after all. I may have got it wrong. I don’t know if she ever took laudanum. Many ladies did. I don’t know if she ever made grape jelly.”
All outlines are lost, all sights, all landscapes and me
They’re one again – the sky, sea, shore, and me
A secret word being a mirror to the heart
A haze spread from scene to scene, and me
As the maiden wind teases when it passes on
But silent for so long are the deep sea, and me
How well known they are to each other, Zeb!
Continue reading “Ghazal”
Those coconut trees, these stones on shore, and me
Faust, First Part
“You can’t, if you can’t feel it, if it never
Rises from the soul, and sways
The heart of every single hearer,
With deepest power, in simple ways.
You’ll sit forever, gluing things together,
Cooking up a stew from other’s scraps,
Blowing on a miserable fire,
Made from your heap of dying ash.
Let apes and children praise your art,
If their admiration’s to your taste,
But you’ll never speak from heart to heart,
Unless it rises up from your heart’s space.”
I lost my talk
The talk you took away.
When I was a little girl
At Shubenacadie school.
You snatched it away:
I speak like you
I think like you
I create like you
The scrambled ballad, about my word.
Two ways I talk
Both ways I say,
Your way is more powerful.
So gently I offer my hand and ask,
Let me find my talk
So I can teach you about me.
Excerpts from “The Rock” by T. S. Eliot (1888–1965)
The Eagle soars in the summit of Heaven,
Continue reading “The Rock”
The Hunter with his dogs pursues his circuit.
О perpetual revolution of configured stars,
О perpetual recurrence of determined seasons,
О world of spring and autumn, birth and dying!
BLOOD is my daylight, and darkness too.
Continue reading “The Pit”
Blessing of night has been gouged from my cheeks
Bearing with it my more lucky sight.
Within those holes, for tears, fierce fire inflamed
The bleeding socket as if for brain a balm –
While my bright eyes died on my own palm.
I once beheld on earth celestial graces
And heavenly beauties scarce to mortals known,
Whose memory yields nor joy nor grief alone,
But all things else in cloud and dreams effaces.
I saw how tears had left their weary traces
Within those eyes that once the sun outshone,
I heard those lips, in low and plaintive moan,
Breathe words to stir the mountains from their places.
Love, wisdom, courage, tenderness, and truth
Made in their mourning strains more high and dear
Than ever wove soft sounds for mortal ear;
And heaven seemed listening in such saddest ruth
The very leaves upon the bough to soothe,
Such sweetness filled the blissful atmosphere.
Translated by Thomas Wentworth Higginson (1903)
Photo: Courtesy of Annie Spratt / Unsplash
The great thing
is not having
a mind. Feelings:
oh, I have those; they
govern me. I have
a lord in heaven
called the sun, and open
for him, showing him
the fire of my own heart, fire
like his presence.
What could such glory be
if not a heart? Oh my brothers and sisters,
were you like me once, long ago,
before you were human? Did you
to open once, who would never
open again? Because in truth
I am speaking now
the way you do. I speak
because I am shattered.