Monday, January 01, 2007

Duke Altum's Poem of the Week #45

What better way to ring in a new year of poetry (among many other things) here at The Secret Thread than with this classic by one of my all-time favorite poets, R. S. Thomas.


Song at the Year's Turning

Shelley dreamed it. Now the dream decays.
The props crumble; the familiar ways
Are stale with tears trodden underfoot.
The heart's flower withers at the root.
Bury it then, in history's sterile dust.
The slow years shall tame your tawny lust.

Love deceived him; what is there to say
The mind brought you by a better way
To this despair? Lost in the world's wood
You cannot stanch the bright menstrual blood.
The earth sickens; under naked boughs
The frost comes to barb your broken vows.

Is there blessing? Light's peculiar grace
In cold splendour robes this tortured place
For strange marriage. Voices in the wind
Weave a garland where a mortal sinned.
Winter rots you; who is there to blame?
The new grass shall purge you in its flame.


Mutt Ploughman said...

Duke, a great year-opening poem. For some reason I was just looking at R. S. Thomas' stuff last night without even knowing this was on here. No one wrote more bluntly and yet he still always held out the possibility of hope and new beginnings - Grace - in spite of all the obvious turmoil one can sense he experienced when you read his poetry. Thomas gives one a powerful sense of the Welsh voice which does not get heard very much in literature or in the world - and yet obviously has much to say to those who might listen to it. I know Duke has admired R.S. Thomas' work for as long as he's known of it - you can see why here. The continuation of an ever-staggering series of poems created by Duke. I usually get a moment or two's respite from the world from these great poems he selects - and that's a gift.

Aura McKnightly said...

Well, at least this one didn't remind me of Star Trek. ;-)