Sunday, September 10, 2006

Noticed a smidgen more poetry/prose cropping up here and there among The Blogs I Love (hereafter TBIL) and feel motivated to post one too, by Conrad Aiken, especially as I've just discovered a blog containing the entire text of his Preludes plus some audio of him reading "Tetelestai", which is now added to the side bar. (Yes, I know he's regarded as "minor" by the Academy, thank you!)
Call me an apocalypse obsessed buffoon (herafter AOB) but somehow this poem has always excited in me a desire for the (promised) end, (the desire is certainly there in Aiken, I think (" scour with kelp and spindrift the stale street") some raging eco-catastrophe that man, the hubristic insect, has brought down upon his own head, cowering in fear before the wrath of great dame Nature ( hereafter GDN), and you have to ask yourself just how long it will be, given the course we seem to be set on, until man has to, "learn again to be, child of that hour when rock and water meet."
Take it away, Conrad!

Hatteras Calling

Southeast, and storm, and every weathervane
shivers and moans upon its dripping pin,
ragged on chimneys the cloud whips, the rain
howls at the flues and windows to get in,

the golden rooster claps his golden wings
and from the Baptist Chapel shrieks no more,
the golden arrow into the southeast sings
and hears on the roof the Atlantic Ocean roar.

Waves among wires, sea scudding over poles,
down every alley the magnificence of rain,
dead gutters live once more, the deep manholes
hollo in triumph a passage to the main.

Umbrellas, and in the Gardens one old man
hurries away along a dancing path,
listens to music on a watering-can,
observes among the tulips the sudden wrath,

pale willows thrashing to the needled lake,
and dinghies filled with water; while the sky
smashes the lilacs, swoops to shake and break,
till shattered branches shriek and railings cry.

Speak, Hatteras, your language of the sea:
scour with kelp and spindrift the stale street:
that man in terror may learn once more to be
child of that hour when rock and ocean meet.

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