Sunday, January 09, 2005

After “Le tombeau des rois” by Anne Hébert

This bird/cat, a falcon/panther,
flies/races out of the tomb
across the barren tundra/savannah
her eyes/ears instinctively
look/listen for something
they can no longer see/hear.

It swoops/dashes north/west toward the
pole/sea, another instinct takes over
leads it along lines of magnetism.

With every mile, the falcon/panther knows this way
is true, can feel the ancient forces guiding blindly.
She perches/sits in a crag above a ravine,
can see/hear the figure lying prone below,

hops/lopes down to the cadaver hanging desiccated
from the overturned car pecks/licks at the eyes,
which look like a cave in a cliff,
which beg her to peck/lick that she may see again.


Aisha said...

Totally gone in the head as I comment on this from a hotel lobby after two days of interpreting trade union issues...but are the oblique stroke words in the style of the CAnadian poet or your suggestions for synonyms...-- great idea for a poem to use those stroke alternatives though...

Aisha (BTW Maggie is gone...not needed now, sadly)

Aisha said...

OH! I am gone indeed! panthers dont fly and birds dont lope...all became clear as reading from top to bottom rather than bottom-up (a good style of decision-making but not of poetry reading)


paula said...

What a complex poem, Ranger. I suppose what you take from Hérbert is the dualism , here, which you present in the double image of bird/cat, falcon/panther. What strikes me is that either are rapacious, they fly or race guided by blind instincts ( like nature does) and yet the final pecking/licking is presented as rebirth. Though scary at a first read, I find a sort of acceptance
at this deadly instinct and an invitation to look beyond, to see. Even though I may be off, I enjoyed exploring your poem.

Peter Garner said...

Hi aish... thanks for reading top to bottom ;-)

Hi Wings... the panther has nothing to do with Hébert's or any other poem I read, but I will say that part of thie inspiration also came from my own "Lucy, Lucie" poem. Thanks for stopping by