Thursday, June 17, 2010
Poem for June 17th
Sitting on my bed,
reading The Spoon River Anthology
until the poems just seemed too sad to go on:
We stand about this place -- we, the memories;
And shade our eyes because we dread to read:
"June 17th, 1884, aged 21 years and 3 days."
And all things are changed.
And we -- we, the memories, stand here for ourselves alone,
For no eye marks us, or would know why we are here.
Your husband is dead, your sister lives far away,
Your father is bent with age;
He has forgotten you, he scarcely leaves the house
No one remembers your exquisite face,
Your lyric voice!
How you sang, even on the morning you were stricken,
With piercing sweetness, with thrilling sorrow,
Before the advent of the child which died with you.
It is all forgotten, save by us, the memories,
Who are forgotten by the world.
All is changed, save the river and the hill --
Even they are changed.
Only the burning sun and the quiet stars are the same.
And we -- we, the memories, stand here in awe,
Our eyes closed with the weariness of tears --
In immeasurable weariness!
From The Spoon River Anthology, 1915
By Edgar Lee Masters, 1868 - 1950
American poet, biographer, and dramatist