Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Bavarian Gentians
by D.H. Lawrence

Not every man has gentians in his house
in Soft September, at slow, Sad Michaelmas.

Bavarian gentians, big and dark, only dark
darkening the daytime torchlike with the smoking blueness of Pluto's
ribbed and torchlike, with their blaze of darkness spread blue
down flattening into points, flattened under the sweep of white day
torch-flower of the blue-smoking darkness, Pluto's dark-blue daze,
black lamps from the halls of Dis, burning dark blue,
giving off darkness, blue darkness, as Demeter's pale lamps give off
lead me then, lead me the way.

Reach me a gentian, give me a torch
let me guide myself with the blue, forked torch of this flower
down the darker and darker stairs, where blue is darkened on blueness.
even where Persephone goes, just now, from the frosted September
to the sightless realm where darkness was awake upon the dark
and Persephone herself is but a voice
or a darkness invisible enfolded in the deeper dark
of the arms Plutonic, and pierced with the passion of dense gloom,
among the splendor of torches of darkness, shedding darkness on the
lost bride and groom.

I think I'm in love with Lawrence...


deemikay said...

Maybe not "in love" for me... but I do like him. :)

And I'd rather read her properly free-verse poems than his novels. (Which reminds me... I only ever skimmed Lady C. for the mucky bits!)

deemikay said...

"her"???? I meant "his"!!!

Marion McCready said...

yes, I prefer (his!) poems too, and yes I also skimmed Lady C to see what all the fuss was about, was quite disappointed really lol

Titus said...

Very confused by deemi's first comment there. I thought there was a secret poetic genius Lady Lawrence that I'd never heard of.

The first eleven words are perfection, thanks for posting this!

I do like the short story which, if my memory serves me correctly, is called "The Woman Who Rode Away", but don't quote me.

Roxana said...

amazing, i've just stumbled upon this poem, pondering whether i should use it on the Bridge, and now it is here!!! :-)

ps. i love Sons and Lovers!

An Honest Man said...

@Titus - No reason you shouldn't be quoted. That title is one of his.

Marion McCready said...

titus, those first lines are great aren't they?! I must read more of Lawrence.

hi roxana! i would love to see it on the Bridge :) I haven't got around to reading Sons and lovers yet but I mean to, soon.

Titus said...

I trust you. Honest man.