Thursday, January 21, 2010

Amaranth



Without Further Ado I present H.D.

Amaranth
      I

Am I blind alas,
am I blind
I too have followed
her path,
I too have bent at her feet,
I too have wakened to pluck
amaranth in the straight shaft,
amaranth purple in the cup,
scorched at the edge to white.

Am I blind?
am I the less ready for her sacrifice?
am I less eager to give
what she asks,
she the shameless and radiant?

Am I quite lost,
I towering above you and her glance,
walking with swifter pace,
with clearer sight,
with intensity
beside which you two
are as spent ash?

Nay I give back to my goddess the gift
she tendered me in a moment
of great bounty.
I return it. I lay it again
on the white slab of her house,
the beauty she cast out
one moment, careless.

Nor do I cry out:

"why did I stoop?
why did I turn aside
one moment from the rocks
marking the sea path?
Andromeda, shameless and radiant,
have pity, turn, answer us."

Ah no - though I stumble toward
her altar-step,
though my flesh is scorched and rent,
shattered, cut apart,
and slashed open;
though my heels press my own wet life
black, dark to purple,
on the smooth rose-streaked
threshold of her pavement.

Hilda Doolittle