Monday, May 4, 2015

How soundlessly the sunlight falls

[From: "The Life of Saint Robert Southwell, Priest and Martyr"]

How soundlessly the sunlight falls
upon the wide world after rain,
unmeasured night and fevered pain,
dispelling gloom in woodland halls.
Dewdrops cling to eyelash wings,
and eyes once more see many things.

But the objects underneath the sky,
so dear before, appear quite strange,
all stricken with some peculiar change -
as silent as death they pass me by.
The things of earth, I must confess,
now seem empty and meaningless.

But a living call is on the wind,
a breath requesting willing price,
for many souls, a sacrifice,
as new leaves shake and branches bend.
A courage swells for what may come,
be it blade or noose of martyrdom.

4 comments:

Ina Eva Simone said...

The “unmeasured night” makes me think about the eternal death, as such, as indicated again in the second stanza when talking about silence. I love the imagery and the metaphors used. You command the language to obey the emotional presence very well, with clever use of poetic devices. The soundless state is woven throughout the poem, very subtle, disturbed by only gentle “eyelash wings’” flutter. I love the title and the fall of sunlight into the eternal night, without a sigh or resistance. My mind can also interpret the “woodland halls” as even coffins (I had the same feeling when I wrote about the pictures, in my own poem- as once I’ve read it many times, the wooden shelves and the wooden frames started resembling like so, although it wasn’t intended when I wrote it). I love the “dewdrops clinging”, again very much, and it almost makes me feel the morning freshens, when everything is so crystalline upon waking – a brand new beginning.

The second stanza feels like separation from the earthly embodiment and senses, the detachment from the form, as it is possible that a form only has meaning when one is embodied within a form.

The third stanza, impeccable as it is, calling for a new life, an aerial one, perhaps, and I love the, “a courage swells for what may come”. The will remains behind and the soul just lets go, like the Rilke’s poem, “The Swan”.

You are an amazing poet. I am so lucky to have come your way.

Todd said...

thanks Ina for your in-depth comments - it's always interesting to hear what perspectives and meaning are gleaned - different for each person, and I would have it no other way -
allusions to death abound in my writings, but hopefully not in a morbid sense, a kind of wistful melancholy, but not sadness devoid of hope - beauty tinged with melancholy, I guess that comes through in many of these

thanks for the compliments, really - I'm glad you've come this way too
---todd

Ina Eva Simone said...

No, not in a morbid sense. In the most beautiful sense, the way I would like death to be.

Todd M said...

I agree, and have the same hope