Friday, November 02, 2012

Cavatina


by David Gascoyne (1916-2001)


Now we must bear the final real
Convulsion of the breast, for the sublime 
Relief of the catharsis; and the cruel
Clear grief; the dear redemption from the crime, 
The sublimation of the evil dream.

Beneath, all is confused, dense and impure; 
Extraordinary shiftings of a nameless mass 
From plane to plane, then some obscure 
Catastrophe:
The shattered Cross
High on its storm-lit hill, the searchlight eyes 
Whose lines divide the black dome of the skies,
Are implicated; and the Universe of Death --
Gold, excrement and flesh, the spirit’s malady, 
A secret animal’s hot breath ...

Yet through disaster a faint melody
Insists; and the interior suffering like a silver wire 
Enduring and resplendent, strongly plied 
By genius’ hands into the searching fire 
At last emerges and is purified.

Its force like violins in pure lament 
Persists, sending ascending stairs 
Across the far wastes of the firmament
To carry starwards all our weight of tears.