Monday, July 27, 2009

Night songs and day songs - Jack Gilbert

Light is too bare, too simple for her. She has lived
in the darkness so long, she prefers it. Sits among
the shrubs in the woods at night, singing of Orpheus,
who sings prettily but innocently. She knows we are
rendered by time, by pain and desire, so makes a home
always in the present. He still dotes on what was lost
and the losing of it, his cracked voice singing of his
young voice singing about love. The dark has derived
an excitement from her. Eurydice sings of passion
as a foreign country. Says candles made from birds
and tigers, from tallow of fox and snake, burn with
a troubling radiance. Orpheus sings about the smell
of basil growing in the rusting five-gallon can
on the wall between his vineyard and the well.
Eurydice tells of animals searching each other
on the bed meanwhile, shameful and vibrant.
He sings of soup cooking in the dented pot.
Of how fine it was out there in the stony fields,
eating and grieving and solitary year after year.

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