Thursday, October 22, 2009

Three Poem Drafts

I will be at the South Central Seminar in the History of Early Modern Philosophy this weekend, so I'll likely be quiet until Sunday. I really don't like the ending of the third poem, although it captures Lady Philosophy's point very well.

Milky Way

Once a year at the end of day
I pack my bag to walk the Milky Way
through all there is and all there was;
on every side a hundred billion suns
rise and bloom and slowly pass away.
And somewhere in the coursing night
where the spiral arms are lost to sight
my heart begins to sigh and softly pray:
all this flame and all this light,
the planets, clouds, and splendors bright,
are fragile as the dust and shattered clay.
Ever they are perched on high
to catch some distant lullaby;
and after ever, never comes,
empty voids and endless years
devoid of even sorrow's tears:
such are the thoughts you overhear
when you pack your bag some autumn day
to walk the path of the Milky Way.


Sun with passion
leaps up, a steed
at the trumpet.

Cons. Phil. 1m2

Depth-drowning, his once-sharp mind
now is made dull with darkness of brine
and this man, now far from shore,
whipped by wave, and wind, and wind more,
treads in water, in cold, in despair,
who once trod earth in open air.
Once he observed the vital sun
and the stars that around the light moon run
and the evenstar bright in the twilight west
which leaps in the morrow in dancing jest,
and studied the world in effect and cause,
knew how wave and wind have their laws,
how stars dance in circle and sphere,
how the sun rises up to make all things clear,
how spring is warm and calls to light
the blossoms that cheer and render earth bright,
how autumn brings harvest to finish the round,
fruit of the earth, grain from the ground.
But he who the secrets of nature had spied
lies low, the heights of his mind now denied,
weighed down by the chains binding him now
to look at the dust, not a man but a cow.

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