Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Envoy


The Envoy





Out of the nothing
of night a blur
of bright came
winking, shining, sly;
some lost lamp
burning the homing call

or only a mimic'd
mechanized reflection, dead
as Pan's gone goat-eye,
a dream twisting in the glass
holding the hanging seeds.

Does it matter what it really is,
when I know exactly
what I saw and why?

Though I do nothing,
soon the sun will rise,
day find my eyes,
rainclad wind unwind
the weave and wave of every tree.

Though I do everything,
soon the calling light will shine
on a place I cannot find,
where I will neither dream nor see.





~May 2015









posted for     real toads

Weekend Challenge: The Poetry of Jane Hirshfield
Grace (everyday amazing) gives us the poetry of American contemporary poet Jane Hirshfield to write to or from. I found her style elusive; though I did try for a simple voice,  this is merely taken from a title of hers, called  The Envoy 












Image: Street Light, 1909. by Giacomo Balla




18 comments:

  1. I believe you captured the elusive voice of Jane, HW ~ There is something mysterious which we can't pinpoint, dream nor see ~

    I specially admire:

    a dream twisting in the glass
    holding the hanging seeds.

    Thanks for participating and wishing you happy week ~

    ReplyDelete
  2. To me this capture that elusive moment when we wake before dawn and have lost our dreams and have not yet a foothold in reality. It's so vivid that it really took me there.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I agree, this is elusive yet so felt. I love this line "the rainclad wind unwind
    the weave and wave of every tree."

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes, I agree with Grace. Hirshfield uses simple language but is also very metaphorical. I think this poem has both those qualities — and is beautifully intriguing in its own right.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I, too, felt that tugging of the dream as you awake in your words. Knowing that something important happened and it is slipping away.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Agreed with Grace.. this matches Jane's style so much..! Beautiful :D
    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  7. Many beautiful lines here--especially (I thought) the last two stanzas, and perhaps my favorite is the though I do nothing--which is not only beautifully written here, but really expresses the graciousness of the universe in the face of us just sitting here-- But for me the poem is really about the epiphany and the flight of dreams--and it reminds me of the queries people have about all kinds of epiphanic experience--drug experiences even where (I'm told) one feels an awakening that seems as enlightening as one that might come after years of disciplined practice--but is it--and of course--with dreams one has that sense of understanding--ah--and then of course, not being able to grasp it--that bright light seemed to relate to that, but this is my reading (probably tempered by a bit of envy as my own dreams are so muddled and quotidian, if they come at all)-- Anyway, super cool poem and I wouldn't worry overmuch about the Hirshfield aspect--though I think it works with that. k. My computer is doing weird things so posting this as incoherent as it--

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, k. This was not actually a dream , just a weird light in my front yard before dawn this morning--though I may have been in a semi-somnambulist state. ;_) I have never had that sort of meditational epiphany, but I have had the other kind, and it does indeed last and teach, though of course I can't compare for quality, etc. Loved your own poem this morning. As I said at Micheal's place, April seems to have stoked a lot of inner fires.

      Delete
  8. Thanks everyone--I don't think I caught her style at all, though--I certainly wasn't trying, beyond not writing form or using an obscure vocabulary. Her way of writing and approaching her subject is nothing like mine, afaict, and any resemblance is purely coincidental. But thanks for the compliment. She is a very talented poet.

    ReplyDelete
  9. "Rainclad". Get out, I love that. Sometimes we know exactly what a thing is, but want it near because of or in spite of--both?--that knowing. In any case, it isn't up to this speaker. The earth will turn, and dull day will replace a more specific light.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love the way you wove alliteration through these stanzas.

    Dead as Pan's gone goat eye! That's a keeper.

    :-)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Shay's eye caught what mine did, too. Love that metaphor. I concur, your styles are different, but the spirit (as it were) echoes: a keen insight, where most are gauzed. ~

    ReplyDelete
  12. I agree with Kerry....that "Dead as Pan's gone goat eye"--really brilliant!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I think you have captured her elusive voice well, Joy. Loved this.

    ReplyDelete
  14. The compression here into simple enquiry renders it into heart-speech for me, a far different tongue that the learned vocabulary of the mind … and so apt, so facile, for knowing something we can’t know. To see things with a dead god’s eye (Pan’s here) is to suffer the panic and nightmare with eyes soaked in that dark even though the mind is atheist to it: and whatever truths are so evident in the day—that which the waking mind can see and say with confidence—only look upon that dark and the one to come as the bourne from which no traveller returns, a data-less void for which there is no accounting hence no reality. Maybe we need both eyes: Maybe the poet and paramour are a tandem of that duple way of seeing: And the envoy sings both ways … Sorry this is a little contorted, my first response got bounced into the ether trying to enter it in your comments box. For the past several weeks I’ve been getting bounced out of it while typing. Loki no likey my verbosity I guess.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry to hear you are having troubles with the comment box, B. It is so annoying to write a long thoughtful comment and then lose it and try to recapture the freshness of that first response. Thanks for persevering, because I feel like you are the sole reader who understood this one, and if you had failed, then I probably would have scrapped the poem as a failure--or it could just be that no one wants to talk about death so intimately. I swear I saw the most ominous winking red light in my dark, pre-dawn front yard, as I sat looking for words the other morning--have not seen it again, so hard to know just what it was--I chose to make it an envoy, perhaps Charon's. It certainly felt like that at the time, but was more likely just someone's headlight passing through the glass of our new birdfeeder. ;_)

      Delete
  15. "Does it matter what it really is,
    when I know exactly
    what I saw and why?"

    I love the philosophical implications packed so smoothly into these lines. It puts me in mind of discussions about paintings, stories, characters, the soul of art. What really "matters", what the artist aim to create or what the art evoked in the one experiencing it?

    Yum!

    ReplyDelete
  16. My dreams never imprint themselves on my mind. We sit among soil and stars where art prompts a response, but does what I think matter as creator or does the one who ponders it determine its value? Love poems that make think.

    ReplyDelete

'Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance' ~Carl Sandburg