Tuesday, August 3, 2010

TERRA INCOGNITA

TERRA INCOGNITA - D. H. Lawrence

There are vast realms of consciousness still undreamed of
vast range of experience, like the humming of unseen harps,
we know nothing of, within us.

Oh when man escaped from the barbed-wire entanglement
of his own ideas and his own mechanical devices
there is a marvellous rich world of contact and sheer fluid beauty

and fearless face - to - face awareness of now - naked life
and me, and you, and other men and women
and grapes, and ghouls, and ghosts and green moonlight
and ruddy - orange limbs stirring the limbo
of the unknown air, and eyes so soft
softer than the space between the stars.
And all things, and nothing, and being and not being
alternately palpitate,
when at last we escape the barbed - wire enclosure
of Know - Thyself, knowing we can never know,
we can but touch, and wonder, and ponder, and make our effort
and dangle in a last fastidious fine delight
as the fushsia does, dangling her reckless drop
of purple after so much putting forth
and slow mounting marvel of a little tree


.

12 comments:

Delwyn said...

Hi Mr Smith

I love that image that is both a tree and a hemisphere of the brain, lit up with filaments and neurons like sap climbing a tree trunk into the limbs...

to touch
to wonder
and ponder...

that is enough to fill me days...

Happy days

Dan Gurney said...

Wow. That's a powerful piece of writing. Clearly D.H. knew something about mystical experience. He pierced the veil of mundane existence. I don't know much about him. I wonder how he came to know this---perhaps through his travels and acquaintance with Buddhism and paganism?

Welcome back to Blogland, Pal. Been missing you.

Anonymous said...

Wow Alden, you sure know how to put a lump in a girl's throat! Lovely!

Alden Smith said...

Delwyn, Yes the image is both a tree and a brain - which I thought complemented the poem. I only just discovered that D H Lawrence wrote poetry - some like this one - very good.

Alden Smith said...

Thankyou Dan, its nice to be back. I liked the strong suggestion of living in the moment and encountering the world through the senses without too much analysis and questioning - an opening up to experience in a natural way - D H uses the tree as an image of this. - Of course living in the moment is a strong Buddhist concept.

Alden Smith said...

Hello Anon, I hope the poem put a smile on your face as well! - I think that life is shot through with mystery. Much of that mystery exists deep within ourselves. The trick is to take the time in the midst of this busy world to sit still and watch and listen.

Katherine said...

Good to see you back Alden. Lovely images, wonderful words.

Alden Smith said...

Thankyou Katherine - I find that there is a lot of boring poetry about. For me poems either knock my socks off or don't do anything for me at all - I think this is a great poem.

Ben Bongers said...

Great to see you back Alden.
I like the m├ętaphore of the Fuchsia, my favorite plant, tree.
The English language of about hundred years ago, certainly is a challenge.

Alden Smith said...

Hi Ben. In reference to the poetic language of the poem - I am not sure that I agree - I think that it may be more of a challenge to you because English for you is a second language (If Dutch was my second language I would find 100 year old Dutch hard to understand in the same way) - But for different reasons (Language changes over time) I do understand what you mean, for I find the English language of the Shakespearean age challenging - and if we go back further to say the middle ages, I find Middle English almost impossible to read.
Yes the metaphor of the Fuchsia is pleasing - I have been thinking lately about the power of metaphor and the way we use them - I think our ability to express meaning would be bleak indeed if we were not able to resort continually to metaphors - and resort to them we do - constantly.

Katherine said...

How are you Alden? Hope all is well with you?

Alden Smith said...

Hi Katherine, thankyou for your interest - I am going through a bit of a rough patch at the moment with my energy focussed in other areas, but I haven't given up the blogging world and don't intend to. :>)