Monday, 2 November 2015

All Souls

'Now the dead move through all of us still glowing...'

I love how this poem equates mourning with complex, undying love. Because that's what it is, really.  I read a line recently that said there can be no such thing as a tragedy without great love being present, that's what makes it a tragedy. So, grief is just the proof of love, the price we must pay for having loved. 

And the rub? Well, to remember that love, in spite of all the pain of grief. To remember and know that those we've lost live on in our memories (how memory 'makes kings and queens of us') and through us, where our hearts hold them forever, 'still glowing.'

This poem I would like to dedicate especially to my five cousins and uncle who lost a beloved mother and wife a few days ago. And to all those mourning loved ones this November, month of the holy souls. May those we loved and lost live on through us, in the great feat of love.

All Souls - May Sarton

Did someone say that there would be an end,
An end, Oh, an end, to love and mourning?
Such voices speak when sleep and waking blend,
The cold bleak voices of the early morning
When all the birds are dumb in dark November—
Remember and forget, forget, remember.

After the false night, warm true voices, wake!
Voice of the dead that touches the cold living,
Through the pale sunlight once more gravely speak.
Tell me again, while the last leaves are falling:
“Dear child, what has been once so interwoven
Cannot be raveled, nor the gift ungiven.”

Now the dead move through all of us still glowing,
Mother and child, lover and lover mated,
Are wound and bound together and enflowing.
What has been plaited cannot be unplaited—
Only the strands grow richer with each loss
And memory makes kings and queens of us.

Dark into light, light into darkness, spin.
When all the birds have flown to some real haven,
We who find shelter in the warmth within,
Listen, and feel new-cherished, new-forgiven,
As the lost human voices speak through us and blend
Our complex love, our mourning without end.

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