Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Muse

To listen to an audio recital of the poem, click here

She came to me in deepest darkness
unexpected - unexpected!? -
never was poet more atheist of her existence

But she came to me
illuminatress of the darkness
she grew like seeds of light upon my eyelids
washed them clean like morning dew
(these were the kinds of simile I used
before her visitation)
so beautiful - so beautiful

She came
I understood
to make me eloquent
but her presence merely numbed me speechless

“Is it really you?” I asked
the sort of asinine banality
a stammerer might speak at Horeb
or a bosun of Odysseus before the rocks
but surely not a poet-now-to-be?

“Is it? Is it really you?”
She smiled but did not speak
for she had brought speech for my lips
not her own

“Is it? Is it really you?
The same who came to Milton
and led him like a guide dog into Paradise?
The same who windlassed Dante through the Inferno?
The same who bridled Shakespeare
and rode him into Elsinore and Dunsinane?
The same who deafened Beethoven,
starved Mozart,
drove Van Gogh to madness
sent Mandelstam to Voronezh?
Is it? Is it really you?”

She smiled, nodded, shone
but spoke neither no nor yes.
Already this poem was half-written
                 even as I pretended she had got the wrong address

"The Muse" is published in "Welcome To My World, Selected Poems 1973-2013", The Argaman Press. Click here to purchase the book.

You can find David Prashker at:

Copyright © 2014 David Prashker
All rights reserved
The Argaman Press

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