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FACING THE STARS AND SUN

Pure poetry is not the decoration of a preconceived and clearly defined matter: it springs from the creative impulse of a vague imaginative mass pressing for development and definition…while the poet is at work on the poem he does not possess the meaning, the meaning possesses him. -A.C. Bradley,Oxford Lectures on Poetry, 1909.

I’ve been drowning all those years,

but always I try to rise up

and face the stars and sun.

For noone should drown when young

and face his Maker’s cordial visage?

Though many have done, my Lord, many.

Some things now keep this heart on hold:

that new heaven on the hill

which like those white clouds in the sky

offers a lofty, ethereal thrill.

He also gives me fresh-made joy

like some juicy peach

and so I’ll wait to drown when old,

when my time has come.

For now I’ll just continue

to face the stars and sun,

drowning is the last taste

of life’s long peach before

you throw the pit away.

Ron Price

27 December 1995

A PLACE TO COME TO

(1)…because poetry is words, we vainly fancy that some other words than its own will express its meaning….(2) the main value of poetry lies in a process not in a result.

-(1) A.C. Bradley, Oxford Lectures on Poetry, 1909 and (2) Gilbert Murray, The Interpretation of Ancient Greek Literature.

Why would I want a world of wealth

when beauty is here for free?

When gardens and domes have diadems of

gold and diamonds crowning Thee?

The coins and precious metals here

were minted in Their brains,

the result of 15 billion years

making epochal, flashing gains.

These are resplendent tokens

as if from planes of glory and

their lights. This centre of realities

in our abode of dust

is a place to come to;

it is just a must.

A place on your itinerary

at least once while you’re alive.

Watch that you don’t miss it after you’ve arrived.

Ron Price

27 December 1995

THE POEM BEGINS TO LIVE

Watch that in explaining a poem you don’t explain it away. It is not so much a question of ‘what does it mean?’, but a situation in which even the poet does not know what it means.

-Thanks to T.S. Eliot for the idea in ‘The Aims of Poetic Drama’, Adam, 1951.

His words’ not dead

now that they’ve been said.

They’ve begun to live-just see!

There are matters praying-homage

to His grandeur, beauty; it is free.

Ron Price

27 December 1995

A SEA OF FORESTS

Poetry had far better imply things than preach them directly….in the open pulpit her voice grows hoarse and fails.

-F.L. Lucas, Decline and Fall of the Romantic Ideal.

These days we venerate,

major historic thrust,

simple days of sun and rain,

we invest existence with a stately trust.

For there is being born right now

in this acorn on the hill

a great sea of forests from His

burgeoning will.

Ron Price

27 December 1995

HOW WILL I DANCE?

Telling never dilates the mind with suggestion as implication does.

-Sean O’Faolain, The Short Story, 1948.

The tree has branches

blowing so slender and free

with the wind.

They dance on softly

and drop their leaves on me.

They seem to blow

so easily, no effort

with their trunk and bark,

just responding to the wind

when it blows in light and dark.

Could I but bend when

life blows my branches,

thin at end, occasionally

rattling when their’s force,

even breaking with no mend.

Dieing dry upon the field

or garden by the path

and burning so clean to dust

and ash a touch of white gone free.

Is this the soul you’ve given me?

Is this what blows beyond the grave

after my life of doing here?

In Your long Undiscovered Country

how will I dance for Thee?

Ron Price

27 December 1995

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