Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Commonplace Book

Dismemberment: when in the dark
There is a continent of your memory, somewhere,
carried by the frivolous tide
of everything that isn't you.
Each morning, you welcome the low tide.
You welcome each sun
that blinds you away from that continent.

But when the storm comes, you remember:
nothing is really quiet.
When the earthquake comes
cracks appear in your mental furniture.
When the moon comes it displays
your passing shadow - a stooped loneliness
so much taller than you.
And yet you're not moving. No, you're not moving.

In the dark, you listen to the world shed its silences
and dream of bruising yourself
against a body, or a sharpened soul
to break like an ice-pick that continent.

When in the dark somebody comes
the continent will float away, dismembered.

And you too will wake up on a breakaway piece,
alone and naked.
When in the dark somebody comes.

-- Kapka Kassabova, dismemberment, Auckland: Auckland University Press, 1998.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Poems R Us - Take Three

Who Weeps, Who Weeps For Adonis?

Who weeps for the lion, whose golden curls tumble
To the ground? He is most fine and bound in rough hemp, he’s tied
To a table of stone, and will lie,
Death-quiet, through a dark night,
Beneath the stars.

Who weeps for Dumuzi on a throne of gold? Cast down
Into dust, the death of brightness,
He's dragged into the dark
For his wife.

Who weeps for Adonis whose ivory skin is sprawled and tainted
By a boar’s tusk? His purple lips and sunken eyes
Will make no kisses now.

Who weeps for the burning boy, staggering back
With a piece of mistletoe in his eye?

Who weeps? Who weeps for a beautiful youth, fallen
To the outraged shout of a gunshot?
Blood seeps into cracks in concrete
To nourish the mosses, like urine;
His waste, his discards, boxed up and planted
In a tidy garden, somewhere,
With a carved stone on it.

Who weeps for the man who trembles with cold?
Hunched and shivering, back to a dried up pine tree,
He's the sacrifice of a pig hunt gone wrong;
His blood soaks into parched ground,
Down to a red salt sea.
That pale youth has a new name:
Corpse-rot, worm-food; he’s swallowed up in earth now,
His body hung by Herself on a nail on the wall,
Gone into dust.

Have we paid teind enough?

-- Stephanie Pegg, November 2005

This is one of those highly referential jobs that are lots of fun to write, but are hard to understand by anyone who hasn't read exactly the same books as the poet. I'm not sorry, but I'll understand if my vict- er, readers don't really get this.

I wrote the first draft when I was studying for an exam on Classical Traditions in English Literature and had been fairly well steeped in the Venus and Adonis myth. So that's where it comes from, as much as anything else.

Cheers all,


Thursday, November 10, 2005

Commonplace Book

Love's the boy stood on the burning deck
trying to recite "The boy stood on
the burning deck". Love's the son
                    stood stammering elocution
                    while the poor ship in flames went down.

Love's the obstinate boy, the ship,
even the swimming sailors, who
would like a schoolroom platform, too
                    or an excuse to stay
                    on deck. And love's the burning boy.

-- Elizabeth Bishop

(Filched from the 'Wondering Minstrels' poetry list, a truly excellent resource. http://www.cs.rice.edu/~ssiyer/minstrels/poems/999.html)

Friday, November 04, 2005

No more exams for me...

La la la.
Roman history went pretty well. It's weird, I just about always end exams with nothing left to do at the 15 minute mark. This time I made it down the stairs, just about to hand my exam to the invigilator just before the "No Leaving" cutout which meant I didn't have to stare into space for quarter of an hour, but I still find it weird. Good planning? Lack of inpsiration? The crippling effects of writer's cramp? (Ow. I still can't type properly, quite.)

Still, it's over and done with and I'm pretty certain sure I passed the course. On to my summer holiday! :-D