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luís soares

Blog do escritor Luís Soares

Robert Duncan - Achilles' Song

I do not know more than the Sea tells me,
told me long ago, or I overheard Her
     telling distant roar upon the sands,
waves of meaning in the cradle of whose
     sounding and resounding power I
slept.

 

                              Manchild,     She sang

 

--or was it a storm uplifting the night
     into a moving wall in which
I was carried as if a mothering nest had
     been made in dread?

 

the wave of a life darker than my
     life before me sped, and I,
larger than I was, grown dark as
     the shoreless depth,
arose from myself, shaking the last
     light of the sun
from me.

 

                              Manchild,     She said,

 

Come back to the shores of what you are.
Come back to the crumbling shores.

 

     All night
The mothering tides in which your
     Life first formd in the brooding
light have quencht the bloody
     Splendors of the sun

 

and, under the triumphant processions
     of the moon, lay down
thunder upon thunder of an old
     longing, the beat

 

of whose repeated spell
     consumes you.

 

                              Thetis, then,
     my mother, has promised me
the mirage of a boat, a vehicle
     of water within the water,
and my soul would return from
     the trials of its human state,
from the long siege, from the
     struggling companions upon the plain,
from the burning towers and deeds
     of honor and dishonor,
the deeper unsatisfied war beneath
     and behind the declared war,
and the rubble of beautiful, patiently
     workt moonstones, agates, jades, obsidians,

 

turnd and retrund in the wash of
     the tides, the gleaming waste,
     the pathetic wonder,

 

words turnd in the phrases of song
     before our song ...or are they

 

beautiful, patiently workt remembrances of those
     long gone from me,
returned anew, ghostly in the light
     of the moon, old faces?

 

For Thetis, my mother, has promised
     me a boat,
a lover, an up-lifter of my spirit
     into the rage of my first element
rising, a princedom
     in the unreal, a share in Death

 

*

 

Time, time. It’s time.

 

The business of Troy has long been done.

 

Achilles in lreuke has come home.

 

And soon you too     will be alone.

 

--December 10, 1968