Monday, August 12, 2019

There is a gold light in certain old paintings

“There is a gold light in certain old paintings”

     1

There is a gold light in certain old paintings
That represents a diffusion of sunlight.
It is like happiness, when we are happy.
It comes from everywhere and from nowhere at once, this light,
              And the poor soldiers sprawled at the foot of the cross
              Share in its charity equally with the cross.

       2

Orpheus hesitated beside the black river.
With so much to look  forward to he looked back.
We think he sang then, but the song is lost.
At  least he had seen once more the  beloved back.
              I say the song went this way: O prolong
             Now the sorrow if that is all there is to prolong.

      3

The world is very dusty, uncle. Let us work.
One day the sickness shall pass from the earth for good.
The orchard will bloom; someone will play the guitar.
Our work will be seen as strong and clean and good.
              And all that we suffered through having existed
              Shall be forgotten as though it had never existed.



Postscript from Wikipedia— Donald Justice (August 12, 1925 – August 6, 2004) was an American poet and teacher of writing. In summing up Justice's career David Orr wrote, "In most ways, Justice was no different from any number of solid, quiet older writers devoted to traditional short poems. But he was different in one important sense: sometimes his poems weren't just good; they were great. They were great in the way that Elizabeth Bishop's poems were great, or Thom Gunn's or Philip Larkin's. They were great in the way that tells us what poetry used to be, and is, and will be."[1].

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3 comments:

  1. that's true of everything... in a mere 12 billion years or so the universe will be gone... but time being such a transitory phenomenon, it could be tomorrow... or yesterday...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Time is eternal.... perception is momentary ....

      Delete
  2. or, according to quora, a google later (1 followed by 100 zeros)... still, being finite is being finite...

    ReplyDelete