Tuesday, June 14, 2011

52 Poems (week 14)

I listened once to 'The Raven', all the way through, as someone stumbled over the repetitious phrases, the loveliness of the rhyme. Then I heard James Earl Jones speaking sections in a Simpsons episode and...well... James Earl Jones make anything sound divine. (Here's the non-Simpsons version.)


And so I turn to Edgar Allan Poe again, and try to imagine Jones' voice when I read them.

To -- --

Not long ago, the writer of these lines,
In the mad pride of intellectuality,
Maintained "the power of words"- denied that ever
A thought arose within the human brain
Beyond the utterance of the human tongue:
And now, as if in mockery of that boast,
Two words- two foreign soft dissyllables-
Italian tones, made only to be murmured
By angels dreaming in the moonlit "dew
That hangs like chains of pearl on Hermon hill,"
Have stirred from out the abysses of his heart,
Unthought-like thoughts that are the souls of thought,
Richer, far wilder, far diviner visions
Than even seraph harper, Israfel,
(Who has "the sweetest voice of all God's creatures,")
Could hope to utter. And I! my spells are broken.
The pen falls powerless from my shivering hand.
With thy dear name as text, though bidden by thee,
I cannot write- I cannot speak or think-
Alas, I cannot feel; for 'tis not feeling,
This standing motionless upon the golden
Threshold of the wide-open gate of dreams.
Gazing, entranced, adown the gorgeous vista,
And thrilling as I see, upon the right,
Upon the left, and all the way along,
Amid empurpled vapors, far away
To where the prospect terminates- thee only.
  
To --

The bowers whereat, in dreams, I see
The wantonest singing birds,
Are lips- and all thy melody
Of lip-begotten words-

Thine eyes, in Heaven of heart enshrined,
Then desolately fall,
O God! on my funereal mind
Like starlight on a pall-

Thy heart- thy heart!- I wake and sigh,
And sleep to dream till day
Of the truth that gold can never buy-
Of the baubles that it may. 


Photo source: Poe

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