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Edith Sitwell
Posted by: Talia (
Date: May 14, 2003 06:15PM

When I asked about experimental poetry, Hugh Clary gave me a link to Edith Sitwell. There were two of her poems on that link and I loved them. I have tired other sites but can not find much of her. Does anyone have anymore of her poems?

4 poems by Dame Edith Sitwell
Posted by: ilza (200.162.247.---)
Date: May 14, 2003 06:24PM

I don't know which poems you have, so here are some :

Heart and Mind

Said the Lion to the Lioness-'When you are amber dust,-
No more a raging fire like the heat of the Sun
(No liking but all lust)-
Remember still the flowering of the amber blood and bone,
The rippling of bright muscles like a sea,
Remember the rose-prickles of bright paws
Though the fire of that sun the heart and the moon-cold bone are one.'

Said the Skeleton lying upon the sands of Time-
'The great gold planet that is the mourning heat of the Sun
Is greater than all gold, more powerful
Than the tawny body of a Lion that fire consumes
Like all that grows or is the heart

More powerful than all dust. Once I was Hercules
Or Samson, strong as the pillars of the seas:
But the flames of the heart consumed me, and the mind
Is but a foolish wind.'

Said the Sun to the Moon-'When you are but a lonely white crone,
And I, a dead King in my golden armour somewhere in a dark wood,
Remember only this of our hopeless love
That never till Time is done
Will the fire of the heart and the fire of the mind be one.'


Dame Edith Sitwell

I kept my answers small and kept them near;
Big questions bruised my mind but still I let
Small answers be a bullwark to my fear.

The huge abstractions I kept from the light;
Small things I handled and caressed and loved.
I let the stars assume the whole of night.

But the big answers clamoured to be moved Into my life. Their great audacity
Shouted to be acknowledged and believed.

Even when all small answers build up to
Protection of my spirit, still I hear
Big answers striving for their overthrow.

And all the great conclusions coming near.


Bells Of Gray Crystal
Dame Edith Sitwell

Bells of gray crystal
Break on each bough--
The swans' breath will mist all
The cold airs now.
Like tall pagodas
Two people go,
Trail their long codas
Of talk through the snow.
Lonely are these
And lonely and I ....
The clouds, gray Chinese geese
Sleek through the sky.


Jane, Jane
Tall as a crane,
The morning light creaks down again;

Comb your cockscomb-ragged hair,
Jane, Jane come down the stair.

Each dull blunt wooden stalactite
Of rain creaks, hardened by the light,

Sounding like an overtone
From some lonely world unknown.

But the creaking empty light
Will never harden into sight,

Will never penetrate your brain
With overtones like the blunt rain.

The light would show (if it could harden)
Eternities of kitchen garden,

Cockscomb flowers that none will pluck,
And wooden flowers that 'gin to cluck.

In the kitchen you must light
Flames as staring, red and white,

As carrots or as turnips, shining
Where the cold dawn light lies whining.

Cockscomb hair on the cold wind.
Hangs limp, turns the milk's weak wind...

Jane, Jane
Tall as a crane,
The morning light creaks down again!

3 more
Posted by: ilza (200.162.247.---)
Date: May 14, 2003 06:53PM

actually her poems are not hard to find ... I suggest you give it a try

Clowns' Houses

BENEATH the flat and paper sky
The sun, a demon's eye,
Glowed through the air, that mask of glass;
All wand'ring sounds that pass

Seemed out of tune, as if the light
Were fiddle-strings pulled tight.
The market-square with spire and bell
Clanged out the hour in Hell;

The busy chatter of the heat
Shrilled like a parakeet;
And shuddering at the noonday light
The dust lay dead and white

As powder on a mummy's face,
Or fawned with simian grace
Round booths with many a hard bright toy
And wooden brittle joy:

The cap and bells of Time the Clown
That, jangling, whistled down
Young cherubs hidden in the guise
Of every bird that flies;

And star-bright masks for youth to wear,
Lest any dream that fare
--Bright pilgrim--past our ken, should see
Hints of Reality.

Upon the sharp-set grass, shrill-green,
Tall trees like rattles lean,
And jangle sharp and dissily;
But when night falls they sign

Till Pierrot moon steals slyly in,
His face more white than sin,
Black-masked, and with cool touch lays bare
Each cherry, plum, and pear.

Then underneath the veiled eyes
Of houses, darkness lies--
Tall houses; like a hopeless prayer
They cleave the sly dumb air.

Blind are those houses, paper-thin
Old shadows hid therein,
With sly and crazy movements creep
Like marionettes, and weep.

Tall windows show Infinity;
And, hard reality,
The candles weep and pry and dance
Like lives mocked at by Chance.

The rooms are vast as Sleep within;
When once I ventured in,
Chill Silence, like a surging sea,
Slowly enveloped me.

Still Falls the Rain
(The Raids, 1940, Night and Dawn) By Edith Sitwell.

Still falls the Rain -
Dark as the world of man, black as our loss-
Blind as the nineteen hundred and forty nails
Upon the Cross

Still falls the Rain
With a sound like the pulse of the heart that is changed to the hammer-beat
in the Potter's Field, and the sound of the impious feet

On the Tomb:
Still falls the Rain
In the Field of Blood where the small hopes breed and the human brain
Nurtures its greed, that worm with the brow of Cain.

Still falls the Rain
At the feet of the Starved Man hung upon the Cross.
Christ that each day, each night, nails there
have mercy on us-
On Dives and on Lazarus:
Under the Rain the sore and the gold are as one.

Still falls the Rain-
Still falls the Blood from the Starved Man's wounded Side:
He bears in his Heart all wounds- those of the light
that died
The last faint spark
In the self-murdered heart, the wounds of the sad, uncomprehending dark,
The wounds of the baited bear -
The blind and weeping bear whom the keepers beat
On his helpless flesh... the tears of the hunted hare.

Still falls the Rain-
Then - O Ile leape up to my God: who pulles me doune-
See, see where Christ's blood streames in the firmament:
It flows from the Brow we nailed upon the tree
Deep to the dying, to the thirsting heart
That holds the fires of the world - dark-smirched with pain
As Caesar's laurel crown.

Then sounds the voice of One who like the heart of man
Was once a child who among beasts has lain-
'Still do I love, still shed my innocent light, my Blood for thee'.


Why do they weep for those in the silent Tomb,
Dropping their tears like grain? Her heart, that honeycomb
Thick Darkness, like a bear devours...
See, all the gold is gone!
The cell of the honeycomb is six-sided...But there, in five cells of the senses,
Is stored all their gold...
Where is it now? Only the wind of the Tomb can know.
But I feared not that stilled and chilling breath
Among the dust...

Love is not changed by Death,
And nothing is lost and all in the end is harvest.

Re: 3 more
Posted by: Talia (
Date: May 15, 2003 04:14PM

Thank you, ilza.

Posted by: ilza (200.162.247.---)
Date: May 15, 2003 07:59PM

you're welcome

check this out ( a lot to read ! ) :
[] />

and abebooks ( can we mention that ??? - so does amazon, and bn, of course)
has so many books by her - and some not expensive at all,
check it out :

1st edition 1952
paperback ( to head of spine/rubbed) 134pp edge toning else V.G.
Price: US$ 2.00

The Canticle of the Rose: Poems 1917-1949
1949. 1st edition. hc g+/g: pos/considerable edge wear-chips, tears- to jacket.
Price: US$ 2.50

Selected Poems
1993. Trade PB G+ condition, PB cover, POETRY genre
Price: US$ 3.50

Poems New and Old.
1949. 6th impression, cloth, v.g. in worn d/j.
Price: US$ 4.00

Sitwell: help me please
Posted by: julie (24.7.76.---)
Date: May 20, 2005 01:56AM

I've been surfing the net for ages, trying to find Sitwell's poem that begins (I think) "The rose upon the wall...". It's about Hiroshima. Can't find it; and my poetry books are long lost. Can you help? Thanks, Julie

Re: Edith Sitwell
Posted by: lg (
Date: May 20, 2005 02:43AM

The Rose Upon the Wall
Edith Sitwell

The Rose upon the wall
Cries--'I am the voice of Fire:

And in me grows
The pomegranate splendor of Death, the ruby garnet almandine
Dews: Christ's Wounds in me shine!

I rise upon my stem--
The Flower, the whole Plant-being, produced by Light
With all Plant-systems and formations. . . . As in Fire
All elements dissolve, so in one bright
Ineffable essence all Plant-being dissolves to make the Flower.

My stem rises bright--
Organic water polarized to the dark
Earth-center, and to Light.'

Below that wall, in Famine Street,
There is nothing left but the heart to eat
And the Shade of Man. . . . Buyers and sellers cry:
'Speak not the name of Light--
Her name is Madness now. . . . Though we are black beneath her kiss,
As if she were the Sun, her name is Night:
She has condemned us, and decreed that Man must die.'

There was a woman combing her long hair
To the rhythm of the river flowing. . . .
She sang, 'All things will end--
Like the sound of Time in my veins growing:
The hump on the dwarf, the mountain on the plain,
The fixed red of the rose and the rainbow's red,
The fires of the heart, the wandering planet's pain--
All loss, all gain--
Yet will the world ramain!'

The song died in the Ray. . . . Whre is she now?
Dissolved and gone--
And only her red shadow stains the unremembering stone.

And in Femine Street the sellers cry,
'What will you buy?

A dress for the Bride?'
(But all the molds of generation died
Beneath that Ray.)

         'Or a winding-sheet?'
(Outworn. . . . The Dead have nothing left to hide.)
'Then buy,' said the Fury arisen from Hell--
That Fate of rags and patches--
'A box of matches!
For the machine that generated warmth
Beneath your breast is dead. . . . You need a fire
To warm what lies upon your bone. . . .
Not all the ashes of your brother Men
Will kindle that again--
Nor all the world's incendiaries!
Who buys--Who buys--?
Come, give me pence to lay upon my staring lidless eyes!'

But high upon the wall
The Rose where the Woundes of Christ are red
Cries to the Light--
'See how I rise upon my stem, ineffable bright
Effluence of bright essence. . . . From my little span
I cry of Christ, Who is the ultimate Fire
Who will burn away the cold in the heart of Man.
Springs come, springs go. . . .
"I was reddere on Rode thatn the Rose in the rayne . . ."
smell is Christ, clepid the plantynge of the Rose in Jerico."


Re: 3 more
Posted by: gabriele (192.168.128.---)
Date: April 01, 2006 10:09AM


please, could you send me the integral poem of Eurydice of Edith Steelwell by email ( Is very importanto or me. I'll must use the integral text of poem for my Final Exame at University and i didn't find it anywhere!!!
Thanks in advance.


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