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Sunday, October 03, 2004


[- Threnody – A poem, song or piece of music of mourning or lamentation – Greek threnoida: threnos , lament + oide, song -]

Second stanza from ‘Threnody’ by Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
In the poem he mourns the death of his son


I see my empty house,
I see my trees repair their boughs,
And he, —the wondrous child,
Whose silver warble wild
Outvalued every pulsing sound
Within the air's cerulean round,
The hyacinthine boy, for whom
Morn well might break, and April bloom,
The gracious boy, who did adorn
The world where into he was born,
And by his countenance repay
The favor of the loving Day,
Has disappeared from the Day's eye;
Far and wide she cannot find him,
My hopes pursue, they cannot bind him.
Returned this day the south-wind searches
And finds young pines and budding birches,
But finds not the budding man;
Nature who lost him, cannot remake him;
Fate let him fall, Fate can't retake him;
Nature, Fate, men, him seek in vain.




So huge is God’s despair
In the wild cactus plain
I heard Him weeping there
That I might venture there
The peon had been slain
So huge is God’s despair
On the polluted air
Twixt moonday and the rain
I heard Him weeping there
And felt His anguish tear
For refuge in my brain
So huge is God’s despair
That it could find a lair
In one so small and vain
I heard Him weeping there
Oh vaster than our share
Than deserts of new Spain
So huge is God’s despair
I heard him weeping there...


From: Selected Poems of Malcolm Lowry – City Lights Books



You lie on a bed with three long
thin cats

one white, one ginger, one black
the long brushes

of their tails. While nine thousand miles

Philip Guston lies with three
tubes of paint

-white, cadmium red, black-
and three

brushes beside him
in his grave.


From: SOHO SQUARE FOUR – Bloomsbury Publishing


posted by Walter at 10/3/2004