Second Annual Blogger’s (Silent) Poetry Reading for the Feast of St. Brigid

More details at Roots Down and many other locations. My poem from last year is still available. This year, I present a poem that I’ve loved since junior high – particularly the bit about the crow.

Two Legends
Ted Hughes

Black was the without eye
Black the within tongue
Black was the heart
Black the liver, black the lungs
Unable to suck in light
Black the blood in its loud tunnel
Black the bowels packed in furnace
Black too the muscles
Striving to pull out into the light
Black the nerves, black the brain
With its tombed visions
Black also the soul, the huge stammer
Of the cry that, swelling, could not
Pronounce its sun.

Black is the wet otter’s head, lifted.
Black is the rock, plunging in foam.
Black is the gall lying on the bed of the blood.

Black is the earth-globe, one inch under,
An egg of blackness
Where sun and moon alternate their weathers

To hatch a crow, a black rainbow
Bent in emptiness

over emptiness

But flying

“I like that, Mom! It’s about black kitties, obviously.” -M

20 thoughts on “Second Annual Blogger’s (Silent) Poetry Reading for the Feast of St. Brigid”

  1. Except the part about the black heart and soul, May!

    My high school exposure to poetry was french (and old french), but certainly nothing as thought provoking as that! Must ponder now…

  2. You made think back to all the poetry I had to do in highschool. I did have my fav poets, like William Wordsworth especially his poem “The Daffodils”, and Yeats.

  3. Hmm.. hatching black kitties would be a big job for any crow! Really interesting image-language and form in that poem — thanks for sharing Chris!

  4. Wonderful Cat Photo Tutorial. Now if I only had a cat. Well, then I would be sneezing and who can get a good shot while sneezing and rubbing watery, itchy eyes? OK, maybe not a cat. I could use it to catch that elusive smile and look of contentment on my “almost a teener” daughter. Or to catch that flash in the pan fit the Younger likes to throw when she doesn’t get her way. Or is that me?
    So, do you have any Jelly Beans left?

  5. The jelly bean dispenser…um. you’re actually using the black and brown jelly beans? There’s nothing my Cosmo/Chaos loves more than gift wrapping ribbon.

  6. Wow, I had a lot to catch up on. Okay let’s see, lovely poem. I can see why it’s been a favorite.

    Cat dispenser, well what is there to say really.

    And cat photography tips, great. What did we do before digital photography? When I went to Ireland I took 16 rolls of film then scanned them into the computer for a DVD. That was a lot more work then what I could do now with my good old digital. Well I had a digital then too, but I couldn’t get it to charge over there, even with a converter.

  7. I’m loving not only the poetry, but the individuality in every blog…the great and interesting people I’m “meeting”…nice to see Ted up, nice to read your blog. Thank you!

  8. How . . . black. That is, it has a dark tone to it–for some reason (smile). I like the thought: “Black also the soul, the huge stammer / Of the cry that, swelling, could not / Pronounce its sun.” Many of us have felt that yearning toward the light and the inability to express the dark emptiness inside, to expose it to the light and see it transformed into something beautiful. Ironically, this is the very obstacle that Hughes has overcome!

  9. Great poem. I read the Birthday Letters quite a while ago and I really like Ted Hughes. Sadly, I missed St Brigid’s this year but I’ll definitely join in next year!

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