Tonight, while weighing wild winged hope with fears
Of loss, again the girl’s voice crying gay
And sweet – O playmate of lost pagan years! –
Comes ringing in the glory of the May.
O singing beauty! Singing though there nears
The moment of all finding and all loss:
Together in our laughter and our tears,
Wind-driven to the centre where ways cross.
Rose garden in blue night, where souls embraced
In holy silence, timeless ecstasy:
Truth grew between us, final beauty laced
The stars, and awed we knew eternity.
A secret sharing passed from eye to eye:
In death the singing beauty does not die.
I’ve known a few. Found one, in fact.
Surprising there aren’t more,
When you stop to think of it.
I mean, it’s not hard to do,
really, if one is intent,
and we are an impulsive species—
what more natural than at some moment of great pain
to just say “Screw it” and duck out?
And yet it would seem that most of the time
there’s something holding us to life,
a kind of gravity that stills or thwarts
all but the most determined.
The one I found, he talked of it.
I didn’t try to dissuade him—
he had his reasons.
But that gravity stayed him somehow,
kept him in place through wave after wave of temptation,
until, quite suddenly, it didn’t.
-Ben Downing, The Yale Review
I always imagine that when Lewis’ friend Tolkein took the elves to a far green land across the sea, this is what he meant
We find out the heart only by dismantling what
the heart knows. By redefining the morning,
we find a morning that comes just after darkness.
We can break through marriage into marriage.
By insisting on love we spoil it, get beyond
affection and wade mouth-deep into love.
We must unlearn the constellations to see the stars.
But going back toward childhood will not help.
The village is not better than Pittsburgh.
Only Pittsburgh is more than Pittsburgh.
Rome is better than Rome in the same way the sound
of racoon tongues licking the inside walls
of the garbage tub is more than the stir
of them in the muck of the garbage. Love is not
enough. We die and are put into the earth forever.
We should insist while there is still time. We must
eat through the wildness of her sweet body already
in our bed to reach the body within the body.