Poems that pursue the horizon from past to present and poems created for NaPoWriMo 2017
|Helen, thy beauty is to me
Like those Nicean barks of yore,
That gently, o'er a perfumed sea,
The weary, wayworn wanderer bore
To his own native shore.
On desperate seas long wont to roam,
Thy hyacinth hair, thy classic face,
Thy Naiad airs, have brought me home
To the glory that was Greece
And the grandeur that was Rome.
Lo! in yon brilliant window-niche
How statue-like I see thee stand,
The agate lamp within thy hand!
Ah, Psyche, from the regions which
Are Holy Land!
Edgar Allen Poe [1809-1849]
From: The Home Book of Verse by Burton Egbert Stevenson, 1917, 550, 551
Edgar Allen Poe had an unsettling upbringing as both his parents died when he was only three, Born in Massachusetts, he was educated in Virginia and went to University there, but fell into difficulties because of gambling debts. He started to sell his short stories and bounced from relative to relative. He eventually married a 14 year-old cousin and settled in Virginia. Following her death, Poe struggled with alcoholism and depression. His death is thought to have been the result of rabies.
One of his darkest works, "The Raven" is also one of his most well-known pieces. I did not choose that work but found this little poem "To Helen" and I chose it initially because it reminded me of my Mom, Helen. The sentiments expressed also reminded me of my grandmother , Caroline or Karaloka, without whom there would be no Helen. My grandmother arrived here at the age of three months with my great-grandmother, traveling "desperate seas wont to roam" from Eastern Europe. It was a long arduous journey. Though Poe's meaning and intent may not fit my interpretation, I offer this as a tribute to my Mom.
Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.~~Robert Frost