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Inner Journey Poems
Posted by: lg (---.ca.charter.com)
Date: January 11, 2005 04:59PM

Before I Knocked<br />

---Dylan Thomas

Before I knocked and flesh let enter,
With liquid hands tapped on the womb,
I who was as shapeless as the water
That shaped the Jordan near my home
Was brother to Mnetha's daughter
And sister to the fathering worm.

I who was deaf to spring and summer,
Who knew not sun nor moon by name,
Felt thud beneath my flesh's armour,
As yet was in a molten form
The leaden stars, the rainy hammer
Swung by my father from his dome.

I knew the message of the winter,
The darted hail, the childish snow,
And the wind was my sister suitor;
Wind in me leaped, the hellborn dew;
My veins flowed with the Eastern weather;
Ungotten I knew night and day.

As yet ungotten, I did suffer;
The rack of dreams my lily bones
Did twist into a living cipher,
And flesh was snipped to cross the lines
Of gallow crosses on the liver
And brambles in the wringing brains.

My throat knew thirst before the structure
Of skin and vein around the well
Where words and water make a mixture
Unfailing till the blood runs foul;
My heart knew love, my belly hunger;
I smelt the maggot in my stool.

And time cast forth my mortal creature
To drift or drown upon the seas
Acquainted with the salt adventure
Of tides that never touch the shores.
I who was rich was made the richer
By sipping at the vine of days.

I, born of flesh and ghost, was neither
A ghost nor man, but mortal ghost.
And I was struck down by death's feather.
I was a mortal to the last
Long breath that carried to my father
The message of his dying christ.

You who bow down at cross and altar,
Remember me and pity Him
Who took my flesh and bone for armour
And doublecrossed my mother's womb.


Re: Inner Journey Poems
Posted by: lg (---.ca.charter.com)
Date: January 11, 2005 05:04PM

A Bunch of Roses
---A.B. Banjo Paterson

Roses ruddy and roses white,
What are the joys that my heart discloses?
Sitting alone in the fading light
Memories come to me here tonight
With the wonderful scent of the big red roses.
Memories come as the daylight fades
Down on the hearth where the firelight dozes;
Flicker and flutter the lights and shades,
And I see the face of a queen of maids
Whose memory comes with the scent of roses.

Visions arise of a scent of mirth,
And a ball-room belle who superbly poses --
A queenly woman of queenly worth,
And I am the happiest man on earth
With a single flower from a bunch of roses.

Only her memory lives tonight --
God in his wisdom her young life closes;
Over her grave may the turf be light,
Cover her coffin with roses white
She was always fond of the big white roses.


Such are the visions that fade away --
Man proposes and God disposes;
Look in the glass and I see today
Only an old man, worn and grey,
Bending his head to a bunch of roses.


Re: Inner Journey Poems
Posted by: lg (---.ca.charter.com)
Date: January 11, 2005 05:12PM

As One Who Having Wandered All Night Long<br />

Robert Louis Stevenson

AS one who having wandered all night long
In a perplexed forest, comes at length
In the first hours, about the matin song,
And when the sun uprises in his strength,
To the fringed margin of the wood, and sees,
Gazing afar before him, many a mile
Of falling country, many fields and trees,
And cities and bright streams and far-off Ocean's smile:

I, O Melampus, halting, stand at gaze:
I, liberated, look abroad on life,
Love, and distress, and dusty travelling ways,
The steersman's helm, the surgeon's helpful knife,
On the lone ploughman's earth-upturning share,
The revelry of cities and the sound
Of seas, and mountain-tops aloof in air,
And of the circling earth the unsupported round:

I, looking, wonder: I, intent, adore;
And, O Melampus, reaching forth my hands
In adoration, cry aloud and soar
In spirit, high above the supine lands
And the low caves of mortal things, and flee
To the last fields of the universe untrod,
Where is no man, nor any earth, nor sea,
And the contented soul is all alone with God.


Re: Inner Journey Poems
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.denver-04rh16rt.co.dial-access.att.net)
Date: January 12, 2005 12:37PM

So, what's the scoop on the Thomas piece? Mnetha's daughter I could not find, even though Mnetha appears a lot of times with a Blake Concordance search, all in Tiriel.

[www.english.uga.edu] />
Sounds like the speaker could be a babe being born, but perhaps not so throughout. Why christ would not be capitalized while Him is confuses as well. I like the feminine even lines and masculine odd ones, and the near rhymes add a haunting effect to the whole thing.

The last lines of each stanza slam like a slap in the face, so I infer that was intentional as well.

And brambles in the wringing brains.
I smelt the maggot in my stool.
And doublecrossed my mother's womb.

Re: Inner Journey Poems
Posted by: Linda (---.l3.c4.dsl.pol.co.uk)
Date: January 12, 2005 04:16PM

Try this libretto from the Blake poem.
[www.circusmusic.com] /> In it, Heva is the aged but childlike daughter of Mnetha.

Re: Inner Journey Poems
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.phoenix-01rh15-16rt.az.dial-access.att.net)
Date: January 12, 2005 04:47PM

Aha, so Mnetha's daughter's brother would be,

"Har, aged but childlike son of Mnetha and the father of humanity."

Sister to the fathering worm seems to contradict. How can one be a brother and a sister at the same time?

Perhaps this reference, again from Tiriel, has some bearing?

"A worm of sixty winters creeping on the dusky ground
The child springs from the womb. the father ready stands to form ... "

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