Musings —03.21.2017 07:45 AM—
It’s apparently International Poetry Day, or something like that. Having always loved poetry – and having always lacked the ability to write it well, myself – I decided I would share my favourite poem by my favourite poet with you.
He was a drunk, a philanderer, a dropout, a victim of mental illness, and – to me, way back when and now – a god. In A Dark Time is one of his greatest works, and I have been known to quote it at dinner parties and at inopportune moments.
In a Dark Time
In a dark time, the eye begins to see,
I meet my shadow in the deepening shade;
I hear my echo in the echoing wood —
A lord of nature weeping to a tree.
I live between the heron and the wren,
Beasts of the hill and serpents of the den.
What’s madness but nobility of soul
At odds with circumstance? The day’s on fire!
I know the purity of pure despair,
My shadow pinned against a sweating wall.
That place among the rocks — is it a cave,
Or winding path? The edge is what I have.
A steady storm of correspondences!
A night flowing with birds, a ragged moon,
And in broad day the midnight come again!
A man goes far to find out what he is —
Death of the self in a long, tearless night,
All natural shapes blazing unnatural light.
Dark, dark my light, and darker my desire.
My soul, like some heat-maddened summer fly,
Keeps buzzing at the sill. Which I is I?
A fallen man, I climb out of my fear.
The mind enters itself, and God the mind,
And one is One, free in the tearing wind.