Thursday, 7 October 2010

What lives on

The theme of what lives on emerged several times.

I hadn't planned it that way, but that's how it was.

Of course, at the book launch of Heres and Nows three poems were in memory of David Henschel, and it was natural that the question of persistence should arise there. But the question arose in some of David's poems too, in a way that I hadn't thought about when choosing them.

John Torrance, in his poem Dimensions of remembrance, asked,

Who knows the rules? If not
pegged down by place to a date,
can 'when' be large as time,
wandering early and late,
could you be with us even now?

and said:

your voice all letters, poems, now.

David's own poem Prospero bettered asks and perhaps answers the same question more indirectly. He watches a father and son walking by, contrasting the boy's clear face with the father's lined one, referring to time's evidence.

At first I smiled at this; then
saddened by time's evidence my
'third thought was my grave.'

But he has a fourth thought. More on this topic next week.

Later this month I shall post the whole of Prospero bettered.

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