The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review
littlereview

Poem for Thursday


The Town Down the River
Pasa Thalassa Thalassa
By Edwin Arlington Robinson


“The sea is everywhere the sea.”

I

Gone — faded out of the story, the sea-faring friend I remember?
Gone for a decade, they say: never a word or a sign.
Gone with his hard red face that only his laughter could wrinkle,
Down where men go to be still, by the old way of the sea.

Never again will he come, with rings in his ears like a pirate,
Back to be living and seen, here with his roses and vines;
Here where the tenants are shadows and echoes of years uneventful,
Memory meets the event, told from afar by the sea.

Smoke that floated and rolled in the twilight away from the chimney
Floats and rolls no more. Wheeling and falling, instead,
Down with a twittering flash go the smooth and inscrutable swallows,
Down to the place made theirs by the cold work of the sea.

Roses have had their day, and the dusk is on yarrow and wormwood —
Dusk that is over the grass, drenched with memorial dew;
Trellises lie like bones in a ruin that once was a garden,
Swallows have lingered and ceased, shadows and echoes are all.

II

Where is he lying to-night, as I turn away down to the valley,
Down where the lamps of men tell me the streets are alive?
Where shall I ask, and of whom, in the town or on land or on water,
News of a time and a place buried alike and with him?

Few now remain who may care, nor may they be wiser for caring,
Where or what manner the doom, whether by day or by night;
Whether in Indian deeps or on flood-laden fields of Atlantis,
Or by the roaring Horn, shrouded in silence he lies.

Few now remain who return by the weed-weary path to his cottage,
Drawn by the scene as it was—met by the chill and the change;
Few are alive who report, and few are alive who remember,
More of him now than a name carved somewhere on the sea.

“Where is he lying?” I ask, and the lights in the valley are nearer;
Down to the streets I go, down to the murmur of men.
Down to the roar of the sea in a ship may be well for another—
Down where he lies to-night, silent, and under the storms.

--------

One of these days I will be caught up but it won't be today. Still have boatloads of comments to reply to, and I've only been reading a very tight friends filter so if you posted in a community, I probably missed it; sorry, and do let me know!

"Stratagem" review at TrekToday: I really liked the episode but found I had oddly little to say about it. Bakula was excellent, I enjoyed the Mission: Impossible storyline a lot, I like that the Xindi arc is going someplace. And that's about it.

Quick hits on the news: Massachusetts, yes, it's wonderful but there are a hell of a lot of other hurdles to clear. And with people ranting as if any and all married couples are just as much of a problem as the right-wing assholes out to deny everyone their rights, it's hard to see how even those of us ostensibly fighting for the same things will be able to get along for long enough to work together on this. Because god knows I wouldn't want to sit on a committee or chat at a march or hand out flyers or organize a protest or spark a letter-writing campaign with someone slamming my personal choices like that, any more than I'd want to do anything with someone trying to deny me those same personal choices, and I'm not sure how my suffering virtuously would give me any political or social clout whatsoever, which is what's needed here -- not yet more divisiveness.

Janet and the costume that wasn't there: look, it's stupid and tacky but the preemptive censorship we're about to get hit with? I'd rather my kids see her stupid, tacky breast.

And we all really need to look into John Kerry's record. Can the man rock? Why are there no songs from it on Kazaa, and no lyrics online any place I can find? It's all very suspicious.

This quiz appeals to me though I suppose I should want to be more heroic and less daydreamy; ah, but it's probably more accurate, as I relate to her more than any of the other women in the story. At least she died a hero for the man she loved...

Which Les Miserables Character Are You: Eponine
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