Dirty Gerty's Hurdy Gurdy


Only the poem knows what's true

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Delacroix and Ophelia...

I was just looking over Delacroix's Hamlet lithographs, on line, mind you. And one caught my attention, if only for its capability. That is, The Death of Ophelia. So much has been said, can be said, of death and "madness." Where one is a dream that gives us no counterpoint, on which to fashion myth, the other is a myth that gives us no counterpoint, on which to dream. And what we often, tragically, do not see, is that beauty does not flee. It does not go; beneath a shroud even white and unrefined, it carries its heart unto life, and life unto mind. I wrote this poem some minutes ago, not really taking into mind Hamlet's complexity; more having him play with the visions of love, beauty, and mind:



A pall sets over a daisy,
White and unrefined
It carries no scent
No texture,
But that
Set by your mind.

The river's currents stall
So that your hand,
Grabbing unto a branch,
May induce,
All that could ever be,
Summed up in a dream.

But your dream takes me far
Far from fantasy,
I am no counterpoint to my Self
No myth made out of mind,
More the kind of Dream
That imprisons stars in a glass box.

And makes a ring out of flowers
Freshly cut,
All to parade in the parade's end
Some kind of stream that does not bend
To curve or waterfall,
Just takes you still and wanting life.

When your hair touched the river
Was it encompassed in swirls?
Did it dance to shiftless currents?
Was its tendril a gentle curl?
Or was it frenzied by the touch
Of a friendly frigid pall?

You did not want to go
But your mind made it so,
Hand brushed over your chest
Garments washed in rainbows
Beauty has no wish
But to make you think it goes.

I saw him as I see you,
Rex and Iron Mail,
Sword in hand,
Only his was fleshy
And yours a dream
Set in eyes of deepest blue.

With your eyelids shut
Little daisy,
White pall,
Scent and touch
Set by my mind,
I carry you unto my death

Bloodied and yet refined.

I think Hamlet and Ophelia make intriguing counterpoints. To me, both weren't maddened by the loss that came unto them. But the gain. An awareness, if you will, which a more sensitive nature just cannot endure, without falling into "death and madness." If Hamlet's madness was a mask to protect his poetic soul, so was Ophelia's, only hers was the truth there is no soul, something so damning, it carries us all to an unwanted "Gaol."

1 comment:

  1. I don't know Hamlet well enough to know to what you refer... but I did enjoy the poem for what it is.. greatly.. you write beautifully Lauren..