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Some sections were published in Leviathan 6, 2002,

the whole sequence - 33 sections - in The Republic of Letters

(Boston, USA, 2003, ISBN 1-59264-036-2)

 

 

All Saints Elegies
                                                 
(two sections)

“Loving is good too, for love is hard” - Rilke

 

1

 

I thought, if I arrange the musical instruments

in order in the field

the angels will come and play them,

 

and the angels did come and they

kicked the instruments and trod them

into the ground,

 

and they threw the instruments

into the bog, and they snapped the instruments

in pieces as if they were branches for a fire,

 

and the fire almost woke me,

almost brought me back

to begin again.

 

 

5

 

I thought, I will do the work of angels,

I will hold the pen, they will do the work,

and they came and stood around

and told loud obscene jokes and spoke in whispers

when I most wanted to hear clearly,

and they ran around in circles

making fun of me. I stood my shaking ground,

the pen ready in my hand.

                                                 I thought,

if I am ready, they will do the rest,

I told myself this and if I didn’t believe it

whose fault was that? I gave the angels so readily

their opportunity, I waited with my pen ready,

and they laughed at me, they kicked dust

that looked like words

into my notebook. I was I knew then

their plaything. A song was all I'd wanted,

the angels have so many, they could have (look at me)

spared me one, I waited with obvious longing, my pen

and my voice ready, I thought readiness

(what it really means, really)

was what they wanted of me.

 

David Hart

 

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