Thursday, June 14, 2012

From 'The Posh Hospital Poems'

7. Beneath the Blue

for Circe

I can hardly speak, and you not well; so eyes
Alone, swift touch of hands between the bars
The black, black bars, so many unsure words.
There is asymmetry in all we are, our times
As unmatched as our tongues, two psyches lost in night.
I know you're just a myth, we met by chance.
While I'm grotesque, a world from any Ulysses
Yet tell me why, if we first met whole ages past
It still seems yesterday and poems tremble
At each breath. I tread the dark Aegean shore
And walk towards that haunting green inside
Your shadowed eyes. Why do such ancient pasts
Seem almost now? What makes us crave our former parts?
What strange green vine still binds our hearts?

  – from Selected Poems of John Fowles, edited with an introduction by Adam Thorpe, recently published by Flambard Press. This excerpt was reprinted in the TLS.

Odysseus and Circe by Salomon de Bray, ca. 1650