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Going Back (GU, 2/31/8)

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

Going Back

What will it be like? Will there be great

Changes? After over twenty years

I am returning to a city that

Took my heart, and now I wonder what

Rome will do to me. I shall shed tears,

I know, but it will be for many things

Tangible and intangible. I’ll go

Down the same streets, and there’ll be lingerings

In the same churches, also, echoings

Of voices of the friends I used to know.

A few have died, many have moved away

But at the heart of Rome, the Rock still stands.

Only in Fragments

Every poem is broken from a whole

Which nobody can write,

For there are gaps in any human soul

Where night wins over light,

So all we make is fragmentary till

Taste corresponds with sight,

And hearing makes its peace with every touch.

We only can foresee

Half-this, half-that, the whole is out of reach,

And so with poetry –

The lyric grace, the saga that’s so rich

Know they are fragmentary.

And maybe this is why all poets go on

Writing and losing heart,

Completing lines, the writer knows there’s one

Or more essential part

That he will go on hunting till he’s done

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Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF
Medium 9781847779731


Rossetti, Christina Carcanet Press Ltd. ePub

Two doves upon the selfsame branch,

   Two lilies on a single stem,

Two butterflies upon one flower:–

   Oh happy they who look on them!

Who look upon them hand in hand

   Flushed in the rosy summer light;

Who look upon them hand in hand,

   And never give a thought to night.

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A Hush of Words

John Gallas Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF
Medium 9781847770684

XL (ii) (‘I know not if it is imagination’)

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

XL (ii)

I know not if it is imagination

Which makes the light that every man can feel,

Or if from mind or memory will steal

Some other glorious illumination.

Or maybe in the soul the scorching fire

Of heaven still burns, and has the power to draw

Our thoughts into an ardent, fierce desire

For truth itself, the one compelling law.

Oh may I always search for what is true,

Although, without a guide, this fire I seek.

Yet still I feel that someone points the way.

Lady, this is my state since I saw you;

Both bitterness and sweetness now can sway

My heart. You are the reason I am weak.


He who from nothing made all things ordained

That time in two parts should be severed; one

He handed over to the mighty sun,

The other with the nearer moon remained.

From this event, fortune and fate sprang forth,

Mischance or happiness to each man fell.

To me was sent the dark time, I know well,

For it has always been with me since birth.

And like all things which make a counterfeit

Of their own nature, so I make my fate

More black by feeling full of pain and grief.

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