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From the depths

PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 11:17 pm
by Saturn
"Desperatio magnum ad honeste moriendum incitamentum."
~Quintus Curtius Rufus, De Rebus Gestis Alexandri Magni (IX, 5, 6)

"Thus repuls'd, our final hope Is flat despair."
~Milton, Paradise Lost, Bk. II, l. 141.


From the depths.

De profundis I call
I scream for relief.
Hoarse, and anguished,
I batter my breast, lose
My pride, every scruple
And vainly for pity beg.
No one hears my cry.

In this well, this hole
Blackness profound;
I shiver with a fear,
A loneliness deeper
Than I've ever known.
Ague bites not half
As much as despair.

This was no accident
No quick, sudden fall,
But a slow descent
To the Stygian abyss.
Old Homer and Virgil
Would quake to know
That their hell is real.

I've been there, seen
Cruel and unjust pain,
But, until now, I never
Knew so these darker,
And more terrible fires.
My soul I wrack endless
To fathom my crime.

I am not a god, Cyclops
Or huge Titan in disgrace,
No revolt or conspiracy
Led me to these shores.
I cannot bear a load so
Cumbersome as they do.
I am a man lost in hell.

So dread King Minos, you
Judges who sent me here
I beg; whate'er my crime,
Please let me now return
Even to my half-life above,
Even to my hopeless life,
Just let me live once more.

PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 6:38 pm
by dks
This, I love:

Old Homer and Virgil
Would quake to know
That their hell is real.


Remarkably clever, Saturn.

And these lines:

I've been there, seen
Cruel and unjust pain,
But, until now, I never
Knew so these darker,
And more terrible fires.
My soul I wrack endless
To fathom my crime.

I am not a god, Cyclops
Or huge Titan in disgrace,
No revolt or conspiracy
Led me to these shores.
I cannot bear a load so
Cumbersome as they do.
I am a man lost in hell.


There again, you have that talent for making tangible, on paper that raw immediacy that is your heart and feelings. I've never found that easy to do. All the allusions add depth and breadth to the urgency--to the desperate call...

Very fine work, indeed, Saturn.

PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 11:29 pm
by Saturn
I wish I could say that the feelings displayed in this were all a pose, that I was I displaying Shakespeare's or Keats' ability to assume the habit or the nature of another being; that I've created a fictional character here but this poem is, despite the rhetoric and the literary allusions, painfully raw and real - like the desperate cry of a wolf in the winter's cold.

:(

This may be my final poem.

PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2007 8:15 pm
by darthoutis
Saturn wrote:This may be my final poem.


If that were true, Saturn, then you would be inhuman. The human heart compels us to write poetry, and a greater and more sincere heart like yours to write good poetry.

"Fool," said my Muse to me, "look in thy heart and write."
-Sidney, Astrophil and Stella 1.14

EDIT: And thank you for the Milton reference. It is most appreciated (and I'll comment on the details of the poem when I have more time).

-Mike

PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2007 8:19 am
by dks
Saturn wrote:I wish I could say that the feelings displayed in this were all a pose, that I was I displaying Shakespeare's or Keats' ability to assume the habit or the nature of another being; that I've created a fictional character here but this poem is, despite the rhetoric and the literary allusions, painfully raw and real - like the desperate cry of a wolf in the winter's cold.

:(

This may be my final poem.


I certainly hope this is not your last poem, good man. The authenticity you weave into your work straight from your own heart's beating core is precisely what makes it so remarkably great.