Academic journal article The Hudson Review

The Farewell

Academic journal article The Hudson Review

The Farewell

Article excerpt

We came back to our origin,

The place of clarity still, but torn apart.

The windows blended far too many lights,

The stairs climbed over far too many stars

That mean collapsing arches, broken plaster.

The fire seemed to burn in another world.

And now birds fly from room to room,

The shutters have fallen, stones cover the bed,

The hearth is full of sky-debris, just on the edge of dying.

We'd talk there in the evening, almost in whispers

Because of the echoing vaults, and nonetheless

We'd hatch our plans: but a boat

Laden with ruddy stones was pulling away

Irresistibly from a shore, and forgetfulness

Had already placed its ashes on the dreams

We endlessly replayed, peopling with visions

The fire that burned there up to the final day.

Is it true, my friend, my love,

That there is only a single word for naming

The sun of morning and the evening sun

In the language we call poetry,

One word for the cry of joy and the cry of pain,

One word for wildness upstream and the ring of axes,

One word for the unmade bed and the stormy skies,

One word for the newborn, and the stricken god?

Yes, I believe it, I want to believe, but what

Are those shadows about to sweep away the mirror?

And look how brambles root among the stones

On the grassy track, still incompletely cleared,

Our footsteps used to trace towards the young trees. …

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