Thursday, September 21, 2006

5 |   "One side of the heart"     [pantoum]


One side of the heart is dark
one face of the moon is hidden
sentences sometimes are stark
feelings accost us unbidden
one face of the moon is hidden
one drop of the sun is fire
feelings accost us unbidden
we learn through the haze to aspire

one drop of the sun is fire
one hint of the earth is joy
we learn through the haze to aspire
we see through the semblance a ploy
one hint of the earth is joy
each moment in the world has a meaning
we see through the semblance a ploy
at the center of things is a keening

each moment in the world has a meaning
but the meaningless emptily drifts
at the center of things is a keening
by mercy the structure yet shifts
but the meaningless emptily drifts
who follows the flight of the lark?
by mercy the structure yet shifts
one side of the heart is dark




=======

A pantoum beginning and ending with a line borrowed from W.S. Merwin -- from his book Finding the Islands (1982). The verse, a tercet (this from memory, so I'm not 100% sure of punctuation; not certain if he'd fully abandoned it just yet) reads:
The earth is bleeding into the sea far out
We look away
One side of the heart is dark
This poem is no. 5 in a sequence, Early Autumn Pantoums.

4 Comments:

Blogger didi said...

David - we are featuring this one on miporadio's the goodnight show.

thank you,
Didi

Fri Sep 22, 08:49:00 PM PDT  
Blogger david raphael israel said...

cool, gracias. I'll be curious to hear how it sounds :-)

cheers,
d.i.

Fri Sep 22, 11:05:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

david

One of your best works I have seen. One point of clarification: since it is physically impossible to see the dark side of the moon from earth, perchance are you saying the dark side of the heart is an impossible reality?

cheers/ Mahendra

Thu Sep 28, 11:51:00 PM PDT  
Blogger david raphael israel said...

thanks Mahendra.
Well, no, I am not saying any such thing! -- though if the line of poetry says that for you, I cannot object. Poetry's meanings are not limited only to the first conscious thought that the poet may have about them. One side of the poem is dark.

Actually, with the question of the dark of the moon (which, I feel, was partly what Merwin himself had in mind when he wrote "one side of the heart is dark") -- I think of the dark of the moon not only as the obverse side, but also (alternatively) the portion that is in shadow. With, say, a half moon, one half is in shadow (unseen, dark), the other half is seen. The portion that is occluded varies; but generally there is some dark side or dark area.

At any rate, the idea of "impossible reality" aside, this is mainly about knowing and unknowing, yes? According to most modern psychology, there is always a portion of the psyche which is subconscious (Freud) or unconscious (Jung) -- or if you wish, inconscient (Aurobindo); whicheer term is used, the human reality is not far to seek -- and not easy to find!

cheers,
d.i.

Fri Sep 29, 12:57:00 AM PDT  

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