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

4 comments:

  1. Why is this not the whole poem? Or am I just missing something?

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  2. No, you are not missing anything. I only submitted the first portion of the poem. I was studying HD for awhile and this portion of the poem Amaranth (i.e. I) was the part that inspired me at that time. I did have good intentions to follow up - thank you for the reminder - I shall try and find my scribblings.

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  3. Where can I find the full text of this poem? Please advise. - Joseph Tekla Smeall

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have it in print - the book is called H.D. Selected Poems edited by Louis L. Martz published by New Directions Books. You could try the library, though you won't regret buying this one and keeping it close by.

    ReplyDelete