Sunday, February 1, 2009

Poetry Reading

X
FOURTH ANNUAL BLOGGERS ( silent)
xxxxxx POETRY READING
X
X
THE FIRST NIGHT
X
by
X
BILLY COLLINS
X


"The worst thing about death is the first night".
x
Juan Ramon Jimenez

xx

Before I opened you, Jimenez,
it never occured to me that day and night
would continue to circle each other in the ring of death,
x
but now you have me wondering
if there will also be a sun and a moon
and will the dead gather to watch them rise and set
x
then repair, each soul alone,
to some ghastly equivalent of a bed.
Or will the first night be the only night,
x
a darkness for which we have no other name?
How feeble our vocabulary in the face of death.
How impossible to write it down.
x
This is where language will stop,
the horse we have ridden all our lives
rearing up at the edge of a dizzying cliff.
x
The word that was in the beginning
and the word that was made flesh-
those and all the other words will cease.
x
Even now, reading you on this trellised porch,
how can I describe a sun that will shine after death?
But it is enough to frighten me
x
into paying more attention to the world's day-moon,
to sunlight bright on water
or fragmented in a grove of trees
x
and to look more closely here at these small leaves,
these sentinal thorns,
whose employment it is to guard the rose.
x
x

xx



12 comments:

Starlene said...

Now THAT was a poem. Very rich and yet very bleak. Perfect balance. : )

Marti said...

*sigh

beautiful

CLAY said...

Brilliant.

Lyn said...

Starlene-
Thank you..I'm in love with it!


Marti-
Indeed...thank you..


Clay-
It's a gem...thanks...

willow said...

Billy Collins is the best, isn't he? I love this one, especially that last line.

Lyn said...

Willow-
The last line, yes..that's what we can do, guard the rose!
Thank you..

justin manas prince jaspher ligin said...

"The worst thing about death is the first night"... lovable quote

Lyn said...

Justin Manas-
Thanks for stopping by.

The End said...

This characterizes very strikingly and I have taken counsel.

Lyn said...

The End-
Thanks for your comment!

A Cuban In London said...

What a beautiful poem! To me death is the continuation of my journey with a different driver. Many thanks.

Greetings from London.

Lyn said...

A Cuban-
I just love your vision, a different driver...maybe a familiar face? And on and on...

LinkWithin

Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin