Sunday, December 07, 2008

Poem: Exquisite pain sings in my brain (please comment)

At night within a mountain town
of dark and empty streets

from an upstairs room

a lone piano


songs of loss.


Echoes louder and louder still.

Painfully loud,

its strings,

my strings...


And your train

slowly, slowly, pulls away,

tearing my mind.


Exquisite pain sings in my brain


Blogger Johnthebarman said...

I just found this Rilke poem on same theme.


How I have felt that thing that's called 'to part',
and feel it still: a dark, invincible,
cruel something by which what was joined so well
is once more shown, held out, and torn apart.

In what defenceless gaze at that I've stood,
which, as it, calling to me, let me go,
stayed there, as though it were all womanhood,
yet small and white and nothing more than, oh,

waving, now already unrelated
to me, a sight, continuing wave,- scarce now
explainable: perhaps a plum-tree bough
some perching cuckoo hastily vacated.

Translated by J.B. Leishman

11:36 am  
Blogger robin andrea said...

Hello John, You came by The Dharma Bums today and I wanted to thank you. Your poetry is very lovely. When I read it, I can almost hear a voice from the Scottish Islands reciting it. Really beautiful.

Wishing you well from the central coast of California.

1:00 am  
Blogger Johnthebarman said...

Hello Robin and thanks for your visit and such an elegant and encouraging comment. Please visit again. Your few words took me back to Kerouac’s ‘Big Sur’. I have a clear vision, real or imagined, from my teenage years, of the waves crashing below the crumbling cliffs of that deserted California coast. It’s those crashing waves that I still hear on these desolate shores. (I knew, ‘what a wave must be’.) Another connection with California is that in my wood are a Monterey pine and a Monterey cypress. (Is it true that the famous M. pine at Monterey is in fact a cypress?)

Finally I have to mention a coincidence in that I’m just reading a new collection of poems, ‘Dark Matter, Poems of Space’ which ends with ‘Lute Music’, wonderful and seasonal. Sorry I know this is a slightly shortened version.

The Earth will be going on a long time
Before it finally freezes;
Men will be on it; they will take names,
Give their deeds reasons.
We will be here only
As chemical constituents—
A small franchise indeed.
Right now we have lives,
Corpuscles, Ambitions, Caresses,
Like everybody had once—

Here at the year's end, at the feast
Of birth, let us bring to each other
The gifts brought once west through deserts—
The precious metal of our mingled hair,
The frankincense of enraptured arms and legs,
The myrrh of desperate, invincible kisses—
Let us celebrate the daily
Recurrent nativity of love,
The endless epiphany of our fluent selves,
While the earth rolls away under us
Into unknown snows and summers,
Into untraveled spaces of the stars.

~ Kenneth Rexroth ~

4:16 pm  

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