Poetry's High Seas

Updated: Aug 16, 2021

Sailing to Byzantium

1. I shall no longer sail to Byzantium with the ghosts of Lowell and Yeats. The art: two-dimensional, too flat, icons crashing gates of heaven, snatching radiance and grace, the grammar of delight. Poetry will not redeem or save, but preserves the agons of the age. We wrestle with ourselves, twin nemeses in flight, upright in conflict, defeated when sight no longer finds solace in night. 2. Waiting in rain, steam rises past buildings and streets, past movements so fleet we count them new in their ageless force. Step lightly over swells of urban tides, crabs ride them to concrete shores shot through with grime, awaiting some crime to sling new blood. No Byzantine could depict this plight without volume and weight, filigrees of light. 3. Lowell’s mind was not right. Yeats chased spirits without fright. The dead shared secrets he need not dread. Life pushes on like a tendril in the sun, stretching toward the endless One. Darkness shatters in mid-write.

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