Monthly Archives: August 2008

A new poem in terza rima

I have returned to my love of terza rima and further meditations on Dante with the following poem, which forms a kind of conversation with the opening of the Divine Comedy. I hope to take the advice my muse so freely gives in this poem and make it the first in a series, so I need prayer for the discipline it takes to give my muse the time she needs. Anyway here’s the poem:

In Medias Res

And so I start again, here in the middle,
The middle of a life I scarcely know,
How many guesses left to get the riddle?

The woods are dark and darker shadows flow,

I followed someone here, but lost her leading,

With nothing but my lostness left to show.

The voice that drew me on is faint and fading

And something else is following behind.

Over whose heart, I wonder, are we treading?

My shadow-beasts can scent, though they are blind;

All three are here; leopard, lion, wolf,

My kith and kin, the emblems of my kind.

They’ve come to draw me back across the gulf,

Back from the path I wanted to have chosen:

Fall back, they call, you can’t run from yourself,

Fall to the place where every hope is frozen…

But not his time. This time I choose to choose

The other path, path of the dead and risen,

And of the hidden heart, this time I choose,

To lose myself and find again the voice

That called and drew me here; my freeing muse.

Begin again, she calls, you have the choice,

Little by little you can travel far,

Learn to lament before you can rejoice,

Sing to the shadows, sing and do not fear

But sing them into love little by little.

Begin the song exactly where you are.

And so I start again, here in the middle.


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