Saturday, April 05, 2008
I see you everywhere except in dreams
Someday this poem will be
a memory, like
the ten dollars you got
winning the spelling bee, like
the sweet smell of the tobacco pouch
in your grandfather's pocket,
the grandfather you adored, how
the gold string that tied it vanished
like a coin drawn into a magician's sleeve
amazing the child who watched,
who was you, the child burned
by illusions that turned into dreams,
the child, awake now
to the ruin of old age, but you
cannot heal her, you cannot cry.
You know no words of comfort.
You pronounce her dead
and move to a far country,
sunless, without air.
(Grandpa and me, ca 1942) Xanadu,according to Coleridge, was a vision in a dream, a fragment, a sunny dome built in air, a savage place holy and enchanted, where "the sacred rived ran down to a sunless sea."