Friday, January 20, 2012

two ramages for old masters

Silent in the moonlight, no beginning or end.
Alone, and not alone. A man and a woman lie
On open ground, under an antelope robe.
They sleep under animal skin. Can a modern man
And woman live so? How many years?
The robe thrown over them, rough
Where they sleep. Outside, the moon, the plains
Silent in the moonlight, no beginning or end.

Whitman, how many hours I have loved your vowels!
It’s a stair of sound, and a barefooted dancer coming down.
My master, my lover, my teacher! You call to death,
But death does not hear its clammy name.
The master sings like a dark rabbi
Among ocean herbs on the shore: “Press close,
Bare-bosomed night.” Be blessed, teacher,
By the Torah and the Bible inside the naked seed.

~ Robert Bly
from The American Poetry Review
photo by antonia flowerville