NIGHT, SLEEP, STARS AND DEATH
The hour of the soul, said Walt,
away from books, is based on themes
no poet worth his salt can fault.
The first is night, the source of dreams,
the second sleep, where dreams are made,
the third the stars to which dreams reach
the last and fourth, don’t be afraid,
is death, which can’t the rest impeach,
because it cannot be enjoyed,
experienced only once the soul
has fled, and therefore in its void
as ludicrous as grand guignol.
Inspired by a poem by Walt Whitman which was one of the many that were discuss by Michael Silverblatt’s guests, Eamon Grennan: Matter of Fact (Graywolf), Major Jackson: Hoops (Norton) and Pattiann Rogers: Wayfare (Penguin) on KCRW’s Bookworm this afternoon.
A Clear Midnight
THIS is thy hour O Soul, thy free flight into the wordless,Away from books, away from art, the day erased, the lesson done,Thee fully forth emerging, silent, gazing, pondering the themes thou lovest best.Night, sleep, death and the stars
© 2009 Gershon Hepner 4/2/09