I had a lot of good candidates for yesterday's poem, and lacked the time to choose amongst them. Today I settled on these two of the many "Fury" poems of the legendary Anne Sexton. Their imagery, power and connections to some of the bleaker parts of our own day are inescapable. Worth a read.
The Fury of Earth
The day of fire is coming, the thrush,
will fly ablaze like a little sky rocket,
the beetle will sink like a giant bulldozer,
and at the breaking of the morning the houses
will turn into oil and will in their tides
of fire be a becoming and an ending, a red fan.
What then, man in your easy chair,
of the anointment of the sick,
of the New Jerusalem?
You will have to polish up the stars
with Bab-o and find a new God
as the earth empties out
into the gnarled hands of the old redeemer.
The Fury of Jewels and Coal
Many a miner has gone
into the deep pit
to receive the dust of a kiss,
He has gone with his lamp
full of mole eyes
deep deep and has brought forth
Jesus at Gethsemane.
Body of moss, body of glass,
body of peat, how sharp
you lie, emerald as heavy
as a golf course, ruby as dark
as an afterbirth,
diamond as white as sun
on the sea, coal, dark mother,
brood mother, let the sea birds
bring you into our lives
as from a distant island,
heavy as death.