21 November 2005

Good Dream by Louis MacNeice

He woke in his usual room, decided
Feeling completely awake to switch
The reading lamp on and read - but where
Is the switch?
No switch no light. No light
No chapter nor verse. Competely awake
He gropes for the switch and find the book
He left in the dark but what is a book
Left in the dark? He feels the book
Suddenly gently taken away
By someone's hand and a warm voice
Begins, beginneth, aloud in the dark:
Here beginneth the first chapter -
But it wasn't the first, he was halfway through.
No, says the voice, the first chapter At the first verse in the first voice, Which is mine, none other's: Here beginneth -
But I tell you, he says, I was halfway through,
I am completely awake, I can prove it;
Where is the switch? I will show you the place
Halfway though. There is no switch,
The voice replies; in the beginning Is darkness upon the face of the earth In which you must wait for me till I Show you the place not halfway through But just begun, the place you never Knew was here. But I know this place,
It is my usual room, except
The switch is gone. The switch was never There to start with which is why You refuse to wake.
But I am completely
Awake, I told you. You will tell me Once you are. Here beginneth -
I tell you this is my usual room;
I can put my hand from the bed and feel the...
Yes? The wall - but I can't. Where
Has the wall gone? My bed was against it.
What was against it?
Why is your voice
Moving away? Why do I hear water over it?
There is water between us, I am here on the bank, You will have to row.
What is a boat for?
I am here on the bank.
But I need light to row.
No. No light until you reach this bank. Feel for your oars.
Here are my oars.
Then loose that rope. Are you ready? Row. Here beginneth...
He dips his oars
And knows the walls receding, hears
The ripples around the chair legs, hears
Rustling leaves in the wardrobe, smells
All the smells of a river, and yet
Feeling, smelling, hearing, knowing
Still cannot see
This boat has no switch. No switch no light.
No light? Pull on your oars. I am here.
He pulls.
Splutter of water, crackle and grinding.
Of reed and
Twigs; the bump.
The hand that stole the book that was left in the dark
Comes out of the dark,
The hand that is hers,
Hers, none other's, and seizes his
To help him on to the bank
"And God Said Let there be light"
His usual room
Has lost its walls and found
Four walls of sky, incredible blue
Enclosing incredible green enclosing
Her, none other.
Completely awake

I really like this poem... Leaves it open to the reader to decide the meaning. I tried to just find a link online but couldn't so here it is. Hope you enjoyed it as much as I do.


Blogger BigDan67 adoringly said...

Ah, the Irish: What aren't they good at? Wait- is that a safe question? Oh well, I had to read this poem twice just to keep up with it. Good stuff!

10:36 PM  

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