Five Poems: Poem 4, Natura

In medieval poetry, Natura often appeared as a goddess (which to Christian medievals would have been a literary convention that allowed them to show the workings of nature as something divine, a sort of mask of God.)


If I had understood a thing
of what my nature told to me
I might have had the gall to fling
the resignation sold to me
into the furnace smoldering
in glint of quartz, in dint of violet
in whim of peacock’s tail and glim of rock when it is wet.

If I had risen at first light
of Beethoven’s country symphony
or, when I burned at Vashti’s plight,
confessed what Long’s art did for me,
what cut the trail for my delight
from beat to sentiment, from face to fire
already might have built a road for furious desire.

Conviction only have I lacked –
worn Nature’s habit in the dark –
I will hunt this-ness where it’s packed
between the body and its spark;
with hounds of gladness I will track
its scent from syllogism to the soul
and seize Her mantle when She flees, and view the muscled whole –

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