—Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden,T.S. Elliot, lines 37-41, from The Waste Land
Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not
Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither
Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,
Looking into the heart of light, the silence.
It’s summer’s moment in autumn’s hour.Philip Lamantia, Untitled. From Ekstasis (1959)
I walk over a carpet of leaves
Fallen on a hill overlooking the city
Watching the clouded moon cut
Like a white diamond
across the sky.
In all its raucous impudenceCharles Baudelaire, “The End of the Day”, from Les Fleurs Du Mal
Life writhes, cavorts in pallid light,
With little cause or consequence;
Raymond Carver, This Word Love, from A New Path to the Waterfall
I will not go when she calls
even if she says “I love you”,
even though she swears
and promises nothing
but love love.
The light in this room
even my arm throws no shadow,
it too is consumed with light.
But this word “love”-
this word grows dark, grows
heavy and shakes itself, begins
to eat, to shudder and convulse
its way through this paper
until we too have dimmed in
its transparent throat and still
are riven, are glistening, hip and thigh, your
loosened hair which knows
What am I doing here, what is the point of these smiles and gestures? My home is neither here nor elsewhere. And the world has become merely unknown landscape where my heart can lean on nothing. Foreign—who can know what this word means?Albert Camus, from Notebooks 1935-1942 (Modern Library, 1965)
call to me
over tiny flowers
I have forgotten
and yet can see
to the sky.
Give me time
and the whole
world will become
It’s the love
of love that
and every man
who wants to die
in his bed
with the scent
of salted roses.