Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Poem of the week

Another World

Last night the other world came much too near,
And with it fear.
I heard their voices whisper me from sleep,
And could not keep
My mind upon the dream, for still they came,
Calling my name,
The loathly keepers of the netherland
I understand.
My frozen brain rejects the pulsing beat;
My willing feet,
Cloven like theirs, too swiftly recognise
Without surprise.
The horn that echoes from the further hill,
Discordant, shrill,
Has such a leaping urgency of song,
Too lound, too long,
That prayer is stifled like a single notes
In the parched throat.
How fierce the flame! How beautiful and bright
The inner light
Of that great world which lives within our own,
Remote, alone.
Let me not see too soon, let me not know,
And so forgo
All that I cling to here, the safety side
Where I would bide.
Old Evil, loose my chains and let me rest
Where I am best,
Here in the muted shade of my own dust.
But if I must
Go wandering in Time and seek the source
Of my life force,
Lend me your sable wings, that as I fall
Beyond recall,
The sober stars may tumble in my wake,
For Jesus' sake.

by Daphne du Maurier, 1947


Henri Llewelyn Davies said...

Hi Becca, I like your blog - and the poem you've chosen. It reminds me a lot of another one you might like, by Elizabeth Jennings - I can't remember the title but it starts 'Last night I saw the savage world, and heard the blood beat up the stairs' (it's not quite as grim and bloody as that as it goes on.)
You might know her poetry anyway. Especially as she was an Oxford Figure when I was there as an Eng. lit. undergraduate in the seventies (she wandered around dressed in red baggy loose knit cardigan and cobalt - I think - blue skirt, hair in one long brown plait - not a typical look for a forty-something woman in the mid-nineteen-seventies but it worked on her). She seemed nice.

In case you're interested, Daphne liked the poet Humbert Wolfe (she mentions him in her autobiography, Myself When Young). I hadn't seen that poem of hers you printed - thanks! And 'thanks for putting my family blog on your list - I'll return the compliiment when I get round to putting up a list of favourite blogs (haven't even seen a button to do it with yet!).

oxford-reader said...

Hi Henri, I found the poem in the 'Rebecca Notebook' I'm glad you like it. I'll have to hunt out both Elizabeth Jennings and Humbert Wolfe, I've not heard of either of them, although Jennings does ring a bell.
I think you can add links on the layout page, but it is rather complicated!