Thursday, January 21, 2010

Darkness, Yet Truth in Poetry ...

Poems By, Thomas Hardy

Not all poetry is romantic, weepy and overly flowery ... some of it is DARK ... dark, but true ... The really good stuff, to me, makes the audience stop and think about how fully they themselves have (or have not) lived their own lives ... Anyway, stumbled across these in my ongoing quest to rediscover the poets of old.  I love these two in particular ... found these on (a wonderful site!).

'Allegory of Sculpture', By Gustav Klimt
(Image Courtesy of

"Memory and I

By, Thomas Hardy

O Memory, where is now my youth,
Who used to say that life was truth?

I saw him in a crumbled cot
Beneath a tottering tree;
That he as phantom lingers there
Is only known to me.
O Memory, where is now my joy,
Who lived with me in sweet employ?
I saw him in gaunt gardens lone,
Where laughter used to be;
That he as phantom wanders there
Is known to none but me.

O Memory, where is now my hope,
Who charged with deeds my skill and scope?

I saw her in a tomb of tomes,
Where dreams are wont to be;
That she as spectre haunteth there
Is only known to me.

O Memory, where is now my faith,
One time a champion, now a wraith?
I saw her in a ravaged aisle,
Bowed down on bended knee;
That her poor ghost outflickers there
Is known to none but me.

O Memory, where is now my love,
That rayed me as a god above?"

I saw him by an ageing shape
Where beauty used to be;
That his fond phantom lingers there
Is only known to me."

Year Written: 1901
[Published in, "Poems of the Past and Present. 'Retrospect'"]

'Inferno', By Franz Von Stuck
(Image Courtesy of

"Sapphic Fragment

By, Thomas Hardy

 "Thou shalt be--Nothing," ~ Omar Khayyam.

"Tombless, with no remembrance." ~W. Shakespeare.

DEAD shalt thou lie; and nought
Be told of thee or thought,
For thou has plucked not of the Muses' tree:
And even in Hades' halls
Amidst thy fellow-thralls
No friendly shade thy shade shall company!"

Year written: 1901
[Published in, "Poems of the Past and Present. 'Imitations, Etc.'"]

The poem above conjures up alot of ideas and images for me, especially in light of my recent read: Dante's 'Inferno'.  Yes, I finally did finish the 'Inferno' ... part I of the "Divine Comedy." I am continuing on to the end of this Comedy, as we speak. The final, innermost, circle of hell held a bit of a surprise for me.  Hell-proper was not at all what I was expecting, but my lips are sealed!  You'll have to read the 'Inferno' for yourself if you want to know the unexpected twist ... then again, in this day and age, you can just Google it, but that's cheating in my book...  ; )


'Lilacs', By Mikhail Vrubel
(Image Courtesy of
"I wonder, is life not sweeter when one has tasted first of its bitterness ..." ~Me 1/21/2010

Meaning that, like with coffee ... "How would you know when you've had a good cup of coffee, if you'd never had a bad one?" (see Me and Coffee) ... maybe experiencing bitterness ... pain ... if we survive that pain ... allows us to more fully appreciate ... enjoy and embrace the good things in this journey called life.

I don't know ... just a thought ... one I've had many times before ... especially over the course of this past summer. No worries though ... Still flying ... all is good. : )

P.S.  I tried writing a dark poem of my own ... an allegory ... Dante's 'Inferno' was my inspiration ... though my end product is nothing like and a lot shorter ... still tweaking ... maybe one of these days I'll share it with you?

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Thanks for taking a moment to share your thoughts. I'll read them and post them soon! God Bless! M