For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move. ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

Monday, 3 September 2012

Today we died a little death

Today we died a little death
That we had died before —
Today we breathed a little breath
Gently — and then one more —

One death — one breath —
One life — one song —
One threnody — one crumb
Of hope containing seed and germ —
A prothalamium.

12 comments:

am said...

Wow! This inspires me, SW.

Thanks so much for your creative energy!

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks, am. I've just written this over the last half-hour, and, as you can probably tell, I've also been reading Emily Dickinson lately! It's directly connected with the comment I've just left on your blog as well.

Ruth said...

Hi, Robert. Good to see you back. I don't know what threnody or prothalamium are, though I can look them up, but they are beautiful, as are all the lines and breaths of your poem (and the connotations, I think).

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks, Ruth. It's good to be back.

'Threnody' is a song of lamentation and 'prothalamium" is a song in celebration of a marriage. Thanks for appreciating the connotations, which may be too densely — though simply — packed. I wanted to celebrate marital union but didn't want to leave out the dark side (e.g. 'germ' — two meanings? Etc.)

Goat said...

Yes, like Ruth I enjoyed your poem without knowing those exotic words, but it works even better after your explanation. Nice to have your blog back as part of my morning routine, before the more mundane aspects of the day kick in.

Susan Scheid said...

Sorry to have been such a poor correspondent! Beautiful poem, and I want you to know, when I read it, I thought, is this Emily Dickinson? I didn't recall it (but my knowledge here is full of gaps, so hard to know). And now I realize, of course, as it wasn't credited to anyone else, that it's YOURS! Lovely.

ksam said...

Wow. Rewritten my "response/comment" and just keep re reading and breathing it in.

Dominic Rivron said...

Looks very like ED. However, had she written it it would have got the academics and biographers running round like headless chickens!

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks for your comments — Goat, Susan, Karin and Dominic.

To be honest, the analogy between a few academics/critics I could mention and decapitated capons gives me a guilty frisson of pleasure.

Suman said...

This is sheer beauty! Crisp and clever, and I just love the title, very compelling. And "prothalamium" brings back some good graduation memories of Spenser's poem.

Amanda said...

like ruth, i didn't know what threnody and prothalamium meant, but find the cadence of this piece - and now, knowing the words' definitions - so pleasingly interrelated. like marriage, i guess? ;)

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks, Suman. Also a great connection here with Susan Scheid's Eliot post on her new blog (see her comment above).

'Sweet Thames, run softly...' Spenser, and Eliot ('The Waste Land').

Thanks, Amanada! Marriage contains pretty much most things: the easy and the difficult, the exotic and the mundane.