Thursday, April 26, 2012

"ghostly exhilarations in the thought of her"

[...]I’d been

in the course of a letter—I am still
in the course of a letter—to a friend,
who comes close in to my thought so that
the day is hers. My hand writing here
there shakes in the currents of . . . of air?
of an inner anticipation of . . . ?   reaching to touch
ghostly exhilarations in the thought of her.

               At the extremity of this
“there is a connexion working in both directions, as in
               the bow and the lyre”—
only in that swift fulfillment of the wish
                  that sleep
               can illustrate my hand
                  sweeps the string.

You stand behind where-I-am.
The deep tones and shadows I will call a woman.
The quick high notes . . . You are a girl there too,
   having something of sister and of wife,
and I would play Orpheus for you again,

                  recall the arrow or song,
                  to the trembling daylight
                  from which it sprang.

~From "Bending the Bow" by Robert Duncan. The complete poem is here. 
Bather, Francesco Hayez, 1859

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