Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sunday Night Poetry

A few years ago, this poem was triggered by my reading about 'sailing stones' and the mystery of how they moved from one place to another.  That made me think about a young relative who was very dear to me who went from "one place to another," when she died.  The poem is a meditation on the mystery of death, and some of the details in the poem describe the room in which she died and her personal effects. The mirror image is there to suggest another dimension.  I won't say more than that, except hers was an untimely 'sailing' from this place to the other.

Sailing Stone

No one knows how a glacier moved you                           
                                                             into the mirror.

Ruined petals by a glass door, coreopsis
                                                             disintegrates in lantern light.

What is leaving?

My twin,
                                                          where are your rugged clothes
                                                           your enameled lip’s lustrous cantata?

This mysterious rut in desert sand,

                                                           a scientist’s mare, ice-riding stone,


                                                           how you sailed there?



FreeThinke said...

________ A DREAM LIES DEAD ________

A dream lies dead here. May you softly go
Before this place, and turn away your eyes,
Nor seek to know the look of that which dies
Importuning Life for life. Walk not in woe,

But, for a little, let your step be slow.
And, of your mercy, be not sweetly wise
With words of hope and Spring and tenderer skies.
A dream lies dead; and this all mourners know:

Whenever one drifted petal leaves the tree ––
Though white of bloom as it had been before
And proudly waitful of fecundity ––
One little loveliness can be no more;

And so must Beauty bow her imperfect head
Because a dream has joined the wistful dead!

~ Dorothy Parker (1893 - 1967)

FreeThinke said...

I died for Beauty, but was scarce

Adjusted in theTomb,

When one who died for Truth was lain

In an adjoining room.

He questioned softly why I failed?

"For Beauty," I replied.
And I for Truth –– the two are one;

We brethren are," he said. 

And so, as kinsmen met a-night,

We talked between the rooms,

Until the moss had reached our lips,

And covered up our names.

~ Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

FreeThinke said...

__ Of a Woman, Dead Young __

If she had been beautiful, even,

Or wiser than women about her,

Or had moved with a certain defiance;

If she had had sons at her sides,

And she with her hands on their shoulders,

Sons, to make troubled the Gods-

But where was there wonder in her?

What had she, better or eviler,

Whose days were a pattering of peas

From the pod to the bowl in her lap?

That the pine tree is blasted by lightning,

And the bowlder split raw from the mountain,

And the river dried short in its rushing-

That I can know, and be humble.

But that They who have trodden the stars

Should turn from Their echoing highway

To trample a daisy, unnoticed

In a meadow of small, open flowers --

Where is Their triumph in that?

Where is Their pride, and Their vengeance?

~ Dorothy Parker (1893-1967)

FreeThinke said...

____________ In Memoriam ____________

With you I always saw the potted palms
Marble floors and Chinese jardinieres
Polished ancient oak and well-worn arms
Of venerable tufted leather chairs.

Curious how your face evoked the glow
Of firelight and candles in old brass!
When I knew you, the wine had ceased to flow,
And so I have no love for Irish glass.

But crewel and damask –– spices from the East ––
Herbal tea and pottery Quimper
Feed my sorrow, as my my eyes do feast
On relics left from life within your care.

O, dearest, gentle one you were the Past ––
A waking dream –– a joy that could not last.

~ FreeThinke - Tryon, NC, 1984

FreeThinke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shaw Kenawe said...

F.T., thank you for the poems. I had not read the ones by Dorothy Parker.

Your two poems are beautiful tributes and quite touching.

The one by Miss Dickinson is one of my favorites.

All of them speak to what this post is about.

Thank you again.

FreeThinke said...

Thank you, Miss Shaw, for your kind thoughts and for your fascinating poem filled with a sense of mystery tinged with sadness.

A good thirty years ago I ran across two slim volumes by Dorothy Parker -- one called Sunset Gun, the other Death and Taxes. I had always enjoyed Parker, but realized after reading through those volumes how very little most knew about her.

She had great depth and a very tender heart beneath the protective crust of barbed wit and scathing observations for which she was justifiably famous.

She also wrote stories -- beautifully sad without a trace of the mannered, brittle personality so many thought we knew -- and did not.


PS: I removed "Banquet," because Blogger in it infinite wisdom had managed to scramble its format. With your kind permission I shall try to post it again. - fT

FreeThinke said...

__________ BANQUET __________

Generously spread with gracious living
The table beckons. Lace and candlelight
Mingle with fine chine. I am diving
Into the tureen, which is a sight

All white and warm while guarding snowy chowder.
Savory is a casserole of brains.
Sparkling wine has made our talk much louder ––
Louder than the voices of our pans.

Drink has numbed our virtues and our faults
While food has warmedo our anxious, craving hearts.
Later, we will step into a waltz ––
Whose cycle whirls till every fear departs

Leaving us quite buoyant –– out of breath ––
Saddened that this night must end in death.

~ FreeThinke - New York 1963