August

Rating: 3.0
This was its promise, held to faithfully:
The early morning sun came in this way
Until the angle of its saffron beam
Between the curtains and the sofa lay,

And with its ochre heat it spread across
The village houses, and the nearby wood,
Upon my bed and on my dampened pillow
And to the corner where the bookcase stood.

Then I recalled the reason why my pillow
Had been so dampened by those tears that fell-
I'd dreamt I saw you coming one by one
Across the wood to wish me your farewell.

You came in ones and twos, a straggling crowd;
Then suddenly someone mentioned a word:
It was the sixth of August, by Old Style,
And the Transfiguration of Our Lord.

For from Mount Tabor usually this day
There comes a light without a flame to shine,
And autumn draws all eyes upon itself
As clear and unmistaken as a sign.

But you came forward through the tiny, stripped,
The pauperly and trembling alder grove,
Into the graveyard's coppice, russet-red,
Which, like stamped gingerbread, lay there and glowed.

And with the silence of those high treetops
Was neighbour only the imposing sky
And in the echoed crowing of the cocks
The distances and distances rang by:

There in the churchyard underneath the trees,
Like some surveyor from the government
Death gazed on my pale face to estimate
How large a grave would suit my measurement.

All those who stood there could distinctly hear
A quiet voice emerge from where I lay:
The voice was mine, my past; prophetic words
That sounded now, unsullied by decay:

'Farewell, wonder of azure and of gold
Surrounding the Transfiguration's power:
Assuage now with a woman's last caress
The bitterness of my predestined hour!

'Farewell timeless expanse of passing years!
Farewell, woman who flung your challenge steeled
Against the abyss of humiliations:
For it is I who am your battlefield!

'Farewell, you span of open wings outspread,
The voluntary obstinacy of flight,
O figure of the world revealed in speech,
Creative genius, wonder-working might!'
Saturday, April 3, 2010
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COMMENTS
Khairul Ahsan 09 August 2018
'All those who stood there could distinctly hear A quiet voice emerge from where I lay: The voice was mine, my past; prophetic words That sounded now, unsullied by decay: ' - The stanza that I liked most, of all!
1 0 Reply
Susan Williams 09 August 2018
I'd dreamt I saw you coming one by one / Across the wood to wish me your farewell.- - -Simple words to paint such a strong picture
0 0 Reply
Anil Kumar Panda 09 August 2018
A masterpiece by the great poet. Enjoyed thoroughly. ''Farewell timeless expanse of passing years! Farewell, woman who flung your challenge steeled Against the abyss of humiliations: For it is I who am your battlefield! '..is so beautiful. Thanks for sharing.
1 0 Reply
Dr Antony Theodore 09 August 2018
'Farewell, you span of open wings outspread, The voluntary obstinacy of flight, O figure of the world revealed in speech, Creative genius, wonder-working might! '. a great poem indeed. tony
1 0 Reply
Adrian Flett 09 August 2018
The dream of the Lord and the sadness which was Pasternak's Russia.
1 0 Reply
Lungelo S Mbuyazi 09 August 2018
Such a nice write! Farewell, you span of open wings outspread .... Creative genius, wonder-working might!
1 0 Reply
Mahtab Bangalee 09 August 2018
Thoughtfully and Beautifully penned last three stanzas- 'Farewell timeless expanse of passing years! Farewell, woman who flung your challenge steeled excellent writing
2 0 Reply
Mary Skarpathiotaki 09 July 2018
Open mind and wings too.! 0+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
2 0 Reply
Susan Williams 19 February 2018
Who else could come up with this- - - - - - - -] with its ochre heat i This is a writer's depths that we see at work here.
1 0 Reply
Seamus O Brian 09 August 2017
A finely crafted work of art. A masterpiece of visual clarity and literary force. A privilege to read and aspire to.
2 0 Reply

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