Poets | Bookstore | Poem of the Day | Top 40 | Search | Comments | Privacy
December 18th, 2014 - we have 234 poets, 8,025 poems and 279,673 comments.
Carolyn Forché - Elegy

The page opens to snow on a field: boot-holed month, black hour
the bottle in your coat half voda half winter light.
To what and to whom does one say yes?
If God were the uncertain, would you cling to him?

Beneath a tattoo of stars the gate open, so silent so like a tomb.
This is the city you most loved, an empty stairwell
where the next rain lifts invisibly from the Seine.

With solitude, your coat open, you walk
steadily as if the railings were there and your hands weren't passing 
        through them.

"When things were ready, they poured on fuel and touched off the fire.
They waited for a high wind. It was very fine, that powdered bone.
It was put into sacks, and when there was enough we went to a bridge 
        on the Narew River."

And even less explicit phrases survived:
"To make charcoal.
For laundry irons."
And so we revolt against silence with a bit of speaking.
The page is a charred field where the dead would have written
We went on. And it was like living through something again one 
        could not live through again.

The soul behind you no longer inhabits your life: the unlit house
with its breathless windows and a chimney of ruined wings
where wind becomes an aria, your name, voices from a field,
And you, smoke, dissonance, a psalm, a stairwell.

Share |

Added: Feb 20 2003 | Viewed: 320 times | Comments and analysis of Elegy by Carolyn Forché Comments (1)

Elegy - Comments and Information

Poet: Carolyn Forché
Poem: Elegy
Volume: The Angel of History
Year: Published/Written in 1994

Comment 1 of 1, added on April 7th, 2005 at 10:18 AM.

great lyricism here. but i think there are quite a few typo errors tt you might want to correct...

Beth

Are you looking for more information on this poem? Perhaps you are trying to analyze it? The poem, Elegy, has received one comment so far. Click here to read it, and perhaps post a comment of your own.

Poem Info

Forché Info
Copyright © 2000-2012 Gunnar Bengtsson. All Rights Reserved. Links | Bookstore