April 16, 2007

Psalm and Lament

by Donald Justice
by the author himself)

in memory of my mother (1897–1974)

The clocks are sorry, the clocks are very sad.
One stops, one goes on striking the wrong hours.

And the grass burns terribly in the sun,
The grass turns yellow secretly at the roots.

Now suddenly the yard chairs look empty, the sky looks empty,
The sky looks vast and empty.

Out on Red Road the traffic continues; everything continues.
Nor does memory sleep; it goes on.

Out spring the butterflies of recollection,
And I think that for the first time I understand

The beautiful ordinary light of this patio
And even perhaps the dark rich earth of a heart.

(The bedclothes, they say, had been pulled down.
I will not describe it. I do not want to describe it.

No, but the sheets were drenched and twisted.
They were the very handkerchiefs of grief.)

Let summer come now with its schoolboy trumpets and
But the years are gone, the years are finally over.

And there is only
This long desolation of flower-bordered sidewalks

That runs to the corner, turns, and goes on,
That disappears and goes on

Into the black oblivion of a neighborhood and a world
Without billboards or yesterdays.

Sometimes a sad moon comes and waters the roof tiles.
But the years are gone. There are no more years.


Garcín Altoalcázar said...

Vid: http://karamazovi.blogspot.com/2007/03/sobre-la-muerte.html

"Vanidad de vanidades y todo es vanidad. A nuestros antepasados nadie los recuerda y a nosotros nadie nos recordará" (Eclesiastés, cito fiado de mi memoria).

Y aunque esté trillado, lo nuestro es "pasar haciendo caminos, caminos sobre la mar"

Marce said...

Inbegriff of sadness eben: "there is no time" (it is too late, there is no tomorrow, no hope, nothing after this). There are no more years: estar parado de espaldas a lo que viene, mirando sólo hacia atrás, a lo que ya fue. Darle la espalda al amanecer.
Übrigens para los niños el tiempo es infinito y todo está aún por venir.

Marce said...

Ted Hughes, Birthday Letters.
Hardly anything more sad.

Marce said...

El último comentario meant to begin so: As far as sad poetry goes...