Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Neil Ellman writes

At the Core
(after the painting by Paul Klee)

Take me back to the core,
the center, my origin
Jerusalem unformed
in the dust of future stars
I by myself
father, brother, son
to the amaranthine void
silent in my silence
sightless through
the iris of a single eye
without a voice to speak       
to my heart in solitude
and soul disowned—
take me back
where I belong.

1 comment:

  1. "Amarantos" is Greek for undying, "anthos" for flower. So an amaranth was an imaginary flower that did not fade; "amaranthine" refers to anything immortal or unchanging. the real amaranth is is a summer weed ("pigweed"). Known to the Aztecs as huāuhtli, it was an important food source (perhaps 80% of energy consumption) and related to the cult of Huitzilopochtli ("left side of the hummingbird," since hummingbirds feed on amaranth flowers), the sun god of war. The month of Panquetzaliztli (in December) was dedicated to the god, during which a statue was made of amaranth seeds and honey and then cut up and distributed to the populace so everyone could partake of the god. The festival was also marked by human sacrifices performed to protect the Aztec from infinite night.

    An amaranth is also a poetry form of 9 lines. The 1st line is one spondee meter, the 2nd an iamb, the 3rd a pyrrhic, the 4th a dactyl, the 5th a trochee, the 6th an amphimacer, the 7th a choriamb, the 8th an anapest, and the 9th an amphibrach -- the 9 most common metric feet. An example is "On the Cross" by Judi Van Gorder:

    I am
    guileless, bereft,
    pleasing God

    Vachel Lindsay's poem "The Amaranth":

    Ah, in the night, all music haunts me here....
    Is it for naught high Heaven cracks and yawns
    And the tremendous Amaranth descends
    Sweet with the glory of ten thousand dawns?

    Does it not mean my God would have me say: —
    “Whether you will or no, O city young,
    Heaven will bloom like one great flower for you,
    Flash and loom greatly all your marts among?”

    Friends, I will not cease hoping though you weep.
    Such things I see, and some of them shall come
    Though now our streets are harsh and ashen-gray,
    Though our strong youths are strident now, or dumb.
    Friends, that sweet torn, that wonder-town, shall rise.
    Naught can delay it. Though it may not be
    Just as I dream, it comes at last I know
    With streets like channels of an incense-sea.


Join the conversation! What is your reaction to the post?