Sunday, September 8, 2013


This morning when I read this poem by Edgar Bowers, thinking of Seamus Heaney's drive to keep words -- places -- alive by writing them down, arranging them thus: 'in the combs of a fieldworker's archive', I remembered first reading it some dozen years ago, and thinking that it almost achieved the clarity I was then seeking, but now both Bowers and Heaney are dead, dearly departed, and one wonders whether any of these words will truly last. And clarity? My head is in the clouds.

The Poet is Reproved for his Complaint

Follow Baudelaire's advice.
Never think to please the nice
Or the sullen or the mob
Feeding like the armored crab

On the rotten or the stale.
Take for model the great whale
Diving in the depth for measure,
Leaping high and free for pleasure,

Skeleton to those who see
Neither joy nor mystery,
Who, too selfish, cross, or zealous,
Will not hear the voice of Eros.

The rain gathers in the west and there is nothing to be done about it.

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