03 May 2005

If you're still nearby

...If you're still nearby, if somewhere in this darkness
there's a place where your spirit
resonates with the shallow sound waves
a solitary voice can stir alone at night
in the currents of a high-ceilinged room:
then hear me: Help me. You see, we slip back,
without kknowing it, from our advance,
into something we didn't intend: where
we can become caught up, as in a dream,
and where we could die without waking.
No one went further. It can happen to any of us
who raise our blood to an extended work,
that we can't hold it at that level,
and it falls of its own weight, worthless.
For somewhere an old enmity exists
between our life and the great works we do.
So that I may have insight into it and say it: help me.
-- Margaret Atwood, from Two Headed Poems


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