Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Tuesday Poem: "Song of a Man Who Has Come Through" by D.H. Lawrence

Not I, not I, but the wind that blows through me!
A fine wind is blowing the new direction of Time.
If only I let it bear me, carry me, if only it carry me!
If only I am sensitive, subtle, oh, delicate, a winged gift!
If only, most lovely of all, I yield myself and am borrowed
By the fine, fine wind that takes its course through the chaos of the world
Like a fine, an exquisite chisel, a wedge-blade inserted;
If only I am keen and hard like the sheer tip of a wedge
Driven by invisible blows,
The rock will split, we shall come at the wonder, we shall find the Hesperides.

Oh, for the wonder that bubbles into my soul,
I would be a good fountain, a good well-head,
Would blur no whisper, spoil no expression.

What is the knocking?
What is the knocking at the door in the night?
It is somebody wants to do us harm.

No, no, it is the three strange angels.
Admit them, admit them.

By D.H. Lawrence

For more about the poet and writer, David Herbert Lawrence, see:

Although in our more cool, dispassionate, cynical modern era, we would be inclined not to pepper our poems with exclamation marks, I like the passion Lawrence displays in this poem. It seems to me that he is writing about that indefinable quality involved in the act of creation which various people have described as "being in the zone" or "in the flow".

As any creative person will tell you, the act of writing a poem or painting a picture or writing a song is often hard slog, searching for inspiration, but fashioning it from your sweat and toil. But every once in a while, we get lucky, we get blessed and something, some unseen force seems to flow through us and fashions the work. It is almost like we become a vessel, a conduit for some creative force at play in the world.

I think Lawrence was talking about endeavouring to make himself as open as he possibly could be for that unseen creative force to flow through him in order to create the best possible creative work that was humanly possible for him to create.

But you, my friend, might read something entirely different into this poem and that is the beauty of words and poetry - open for you to bring your life and heart to bear upon the work.

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