The Sorrows of Young Werewolf (eyeteeth) wrote,
The Sorrows of Young Werewolf
eyeteeth

How swift how secretly

Attica died last night. I knew it was coming. On Sunday she withdrew from me, as cats do when they are going to die. She lay serenely looking at nothing, and did not react when I touched her or crooned at her. That was when I cried, because I knew she was leaving me. Now that she is gone it does not hurt as much. I have the "formal feeling" that Emily Dickinson tells us comes after great pain. But soon I know I will notice she is gone, and keep noticing, each time I sit down at the computer and she does not wedge herself between me and the keyboard, each time I get into bed and she does not follow me to knead the bedclothes while I read, each time I come home and she is not waiting for me at the door. For herself she died only once, but for me she will die dozens of times. This is better than the other way around.

Probably I will have more to say about this later, but for now I have a poem.

You, Andrew Marvell
Archibald MacLeish

And here face down beneath the sun
And here upon earth's noonward height
To feel the always coming on
The always rising of the night:

To feel creep up the curving east
The earthy chill of dusk and slow
Upon those under lands the vast
And ever climbing shadow grow

And strange at Ecbatan the trees
Take leaf by leaf the evening strange
The flooding dark about their knees
The mountains over Persia change

And now at Kermanshah the gate
Dark empty and the withered grass
And through the twilight now the late
Few travelers in the westward pass

And Baghdad darken and the bridge
Across the silent river gone
And through Arabia the edge
Of evening widen and steal on

And deepen on Palmyra's street
The wheel rut in the ruined stone
And Lebanon fade out and Crete
High through the clouds and overblown

And over Sicily the air
Still flashing with the landward gulls
And loom and slowly disappear
The sails above the shadowy hulls

And Spain go under and the shore
Of Africa the gilded sand
And evening vanish and no more
The low pale light across that land

Nor now the long light on the sea:

And here face downward in the sun
To feel how swift how secretly
The shadow of the night comes on...
Tags: archibald macleish, attica, death, emily dickinson, poetry, thealwaysrisingofthenight
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