The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Tuesday

The Broken Tower
By Hart Crane

The bell-rope that gathers God at dawn
Dispatches me as though I dropped down the knell
Of a spent day - to wander the cathedral lawn
From pit to crucifix, feet chill on steps from hell.

Have you not heard, have you not seen that corps
Of shadows in the tower, whose shoulders sway
Antiphonal carillons launched before
The stars are caught and hived in the sun's ray?

The bells, I say, the bells break down their tower;
And swing I know not where. Their tongues engrave
Membrane through marrow, my long-scattered score
Of broken intervals ... And I, their sexton slave!

Oval encyclicals in canyons heaping
The impasse high with choir. Banked voices slain!
Pagodas campaniles with reveilles out leaping-
O terraced echoes prostrate on the plain! ...

And so it was I entered the broken world
To trace the visionary company of love, its voice
An instant in the wind (I know not whither hurled)
But not for long to hold each desperate choice.

My world I poured. But was it cognate, scored
Of that tribunal monarch of the air
Whose thighs embronzes earth, strikes crystal Word
In wounds pledges once to hope - cleft to despair?

The steep encroachments of my blood left me
No answer (could blood hold such a lofty tower
As flings the question true?) -or is it she
Whose sweet mortality stirs latent power?-

And through whose pulse I hear, counting the strokes
My veins recall and add, revived and sure
The angelus of wars my chest evokes:
What I hold healed, original now, and pure ...

And builds, within, a tower that is not stone
(Not stone can jacket heaven) - but slip
Of pebbles, - visible wings of silence sown
In azure circles, widening as they dip

The matrix of the heart, lift down the eyes
That shrines the quiet lake and swells a tower...
The commodious, tall decorum of that sky
Unseals her earth, and lifts love in its shower.


I posted this before, but it was in December 2002. It's one of my very favorite poems. I decided it was due for a rerun.

ldybastet and I decided that for a whole host of reasons, today never happened. At least, today online never happened. *g* My interactions with the real world were mostly fine. I got this awesome book, Digital Landscape Photography, which I had seen at Borders for $30, from an used seller for $4 and it arrived in the mail; I burned the poorly scripted but very, very pretty 1997 Anna Karenina with Sean Bean, Sophie Marceau and Phyllida Law; my entire family watched the Stonehenge installment of Digging for the Truth and the kids were completely attentive, having seen the History Channel special and having been there twice. Younger son watched quite a bit of Anna Karenina while older son was at fencing and I am not sure what he made of it -- all that adultery and drug use and suicide!

I was talking to someone about writing today and realized why I got so very annoyed last week at all the "Don't write that, write [some other pairing/more sex/more serious fic/etc.]" comments. When I was in grad school, I sold a few stories and then years later I sold a couple of pieces of professional erotica, but I felt like a total hack: all my drafting and revisions and workshopping were obsessed with selling to particular markets, and I didn't particularly feel like my writing was improving or growing at all, quite the opposite. I have felt for some time in fanfic like I've been in a rut, particularly with the character for whom I get the most requests, and it suddenly hit me that I was feeling pressured to tailor fic for the "market" again, when it's a ridiculously small group of people reading in the first place and not even a payoff for it...there will be no more of that. I'm going to stop trying to finish my own Snupin epic (the Tarot-based one), too, at least for now; wanting to finish a massive Snupin story just so I can say that I finished a massive Snupin story without my unlamented former writing partner's name attached is a pretty frothy goal. If my current writing partner is interested in helping me slog through that one once we've finished the current one, wonderful, and if not, only a few people have seen the first few chapters, anyway.

Work today was news bullets left over from the weekend, another article on the local software company that's publishing the new Star Trek video games and details of some of the 40th anniversary conventions -- the one at the Science Fiction Museum has Buzz Aldrin as well as many original series and Next Gen stars, while Shatner and Nimoy will be in Chicago together, but since our son's Bar Mitzvah is that same weekend, we can't even think about attending, which is just as well! Means I'm going to have an unholy shitload of work dumped on me the week after the Bar Mitzvah when I'm still trying to recover, though. The difference between doing two articles and three articles in a day is astronomical -- for some reason the last article always feels endless, even if it's five paragraphs taken straight out of a single source. I can deal on Mondays, but on Tuesdays when I have the Hebrew school carpools, it's really difficult, and on weekends there's just no way.

Trees and sun reflected in the Bank of America building on I-270 (photo taken out the window of a moving car, sorry about the, of course I wasn't driving!)

We're having dinner with my father tomorrow since my mother is out of town, so I will not be online in the evening until late -- dinner out, then Boston Legal. *g* Unfortunately we have to get up really early as our son's morning carpool driver is sick, meaning that he will have to take the bus which leaves much earlier. Woe!

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