Thursday, January 7, 2010

TC: A Une Jeune Fille


You might fill empty futures with your raging

Power. Everything is possible.

The story has not yet begun yet promises

Much. Having glimpsed the magic ring

On the captive's finger, the bright-eyed heroine

Might turn out to be you, making your way

Up mountains of difficulty to shining

Temples in which is kept alive that flame

Of truth which burns at the heart of the ark

Of the covenant of being you.

You might, in the forest, hear that falling tree.

You're young, you want to be free, but aren't yet.

You might walk the cow, ride the rocket ship.

You might book the flight, then jump out of the plane.

You might meet a boy named X. He might say

You don't know me, nor do I know you.

Portrait of a Young Venetian Woman: Albrecht Dürer, 1505 (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna)

Heinrike Dannecker: Christian Gottlieb Shick, 1802 (Nationalgalerie, Berlin)


Anonymous said...

I am loving this Thomas. I really love her. The feel to her. The way you write. The ease that you write. The flow on of words, like how the Seas waves join with one another.The just now and again rhyme, that is not so obvious (I am not liking obvious. How she opens her curtains and then closes such. Yes I can say, I do love her so.

TC said...

"How she opens her curtains and then closes such..."


No, for those of us who wish to peek beneath the curtains, the obvious will plainly never do.

You have put me in mind (ancient pedant that I am) of the search for poetry and truth that leads the poet Keats into the austere sanctuary of the Shade of Memory in The Fall of Hyperion; and she provides instruction and consolation; and he responds thus:

...As near as an immortal's sphered words
Could to a mother's soften, were these last:
And yet I had a terror of her robes,
And chiefly of the veils, that from her brow
Hung pale, and curtain'd her in mysteries
That made my heart too small to hold its blood.
This saw that Goddess, and with sacred hand
Parted the veils. Then saw I a wan face,
Not pin'd by human sorrows, but bright blanch'd
By an immortal sickness which kills not;
It works a constant change, which happy death
Can put no end to; deathwards progressing
To no death was that visage; it had pass'd
The lily and the snow; and beyond these
I must not think now, though I saw that face
But for her eyes I should have fled away.
They held me back, with a benignant light
Soft mitigated by divinest lids
Half closed, and visionless entire they seem'd
Of all external things; they saw me not,
But in blank splendour beam'd like the mild moon,
Who comforts those she sees not, who knows not
What eyes are upward cast.

Anonymous said...

This is Keats? I do not read enough of the 'old guys' Such beauty in their words/in his words. Thank you for sharing such.

Unknown said...

You write so effortlessly. The pix are lovely- remind me of Renoir!

TC said...

Thank you Smita. The effort is ever to disguise the toil... (sigh!!).

(The girl in the poem is working so hard at being herself, to be fair I thought the poet owed her just that corresponding bit of labour.)