Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Excerpts from The Abyss

The eternal silence of these infinite spaces fills me with dread.
Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)


Is the stair here?
Where's the stair?
'The stair's right there,
But it goes nowhere."

And the abyss? the abyss?
'The abyss you can't miss:
It's right where you are--
A step down the stair.'

* * *


I have been spoken to variously
But heard little.
My inward witness is dismayed
By my unguarded mouth.
I have taken, too often, the dangerous path,
The vague, the arid,
Neither in nor out of this life.

* * *

Be with me Whitman, maker of catalogues:
For the world invades me again,
And once more the tongues begin babbling. . . .

* * *


Too much reality can be dazzle, a surfeit;
Too close immediacy an exhaustion. . . .

So the abyss--
The slippery cold heights,
After the blinding misery,
The climbing, the endless turning. . . .

* * *


In this, my half-rest,
Knowing slows for a moment,
And not-knowing enters, silent. . . .

Do we move towards God, or merely another condition?
By the salt waves I hear a river's undersong,
In a place of mottled clouds, a thin mist morning and evening.
I rock between dark and dark,
My soul nearly my own,
My dead selves singing.
And I embrace this calm--

From "The Abyss"
Theodore Roethke


Jeff said...

Welcome back! You're so bright and cheery. What accounts for that extra spring in your step, Cowboy? I'll listen to the Stewart clip at home. Maybe that'll tell me.

Seriously, good to see you back.

cowboyangel said...

End of summer, beginning of the semester. Maybe that's it.