Poetry is that / which arrives at the intellect / by way of the heart.
The silence holds with its gloved hand the wild hawk of the mind.
To live in Wales is to be conscious at dusk of the spilled blood that went into the making of the wild sky
The old men ask for more time; the young waste it. And the philosopher simply smiles, knowing there is none there.
The meaning is in the waiting.
Ah, what balance is needed at
the edges of such an abyss.
I am left alone on the surface
of a turning planet. What
to do but, like Michelangelo’s
Adam, put my hand
out into unknown space,
hoping for the reciprocating touch?
I have seen the sun break through
to illuminate a small field
for a while, and gone my way
and forgotten it. But that was the pearl
of great price, the one field that had
treasure in it. I realize now
that I must give all that I have
to possess it. Life is not hurrying
on to a receeding future, nor hankering after
an imagined past. It is the turning
aside like Moses to the miracle
of the lit bush, to a brightness
that seemed as transitory as your youth
once, but is the eternity that awaits you.
You have to imagine
a waiting that is not impatient
because it is timeless.
A recurring ideal, I find, is that of simplicity. At times there comes the desire to write with great precision and clarity, words so simple and moving that they bring tears to the eyes.
I am left alone on the surface
of a turning planet.
Imaginative truth is the most immediate way of presenting ultimate reality to a human being… ultimate reality is what we call God.
somewhere within sight of the tree of poetry that is eternity wearing the green leaves of time .
I have known exile and a wild passion Of longing changing to a cold ache. King, beggar and fool , I have been all by turns, Knowing the body’s sweetness, the mind ‘s treason ; Taliesin still, I show you a new world , risen, Stubborn with beauty , out of the heart ‘s need .
Sunlight ‘s a thing that needs a window Before it enter a dark room. Windows don’t happen.” So two old poets, Hunched at their beer in the low haze Of an inn parlour, while the talk ran Noisily by them, glib with prose.
Is there a place here for the spirit ? Is there time on this brief platform for anything other than mind ‘s failure to explain itself?
I have been all men known to history,
Wondering at the world and at time passing;
I have seen evil, and the light blessing
Innocent love under a spring sky.
The furies are at home in the mirror; it is their address. Even the clearest water, if deep enough can drown. Never think to surprise them. Your face approaching ever so friendly is the white flag they ignore. There is no truce with the furies. A mirror’s temperature is always zero. It is ice in the veins. It’s camera is an x-ray. It is a chalice held out to you in silent communion, where gaspingly you partake of a shifting identity never your own.
I had looked forward
to old age as a time
of quietness, a time to draw
my horizons about me,
to watch memories ripening
in the sunlight of a walled garden.
But there is the void
over my head and the distance
within that the tireless signals
come from. And astronaut
on impossible journeys
to the far side of the self
I return with messages
I cannot decipher.
Art is recuperation
from time. I lie back
convalescing upon the prospect
of a harvest already at hand.
Man is a dream about a shadow. But when some splendour falls upon him from God, a glory comes to him and his life is sweet.
Verse should be as natural As the small tuber that feeds on muck And grows slowly from obtuse soil To the white flower of immortal beauty
The nearest we approach God …is as creative beings. The poet, by echoing the primary imagination, recreates. Through his work he forces those who read him to do the same, thus bringing them… nearer to the actual being of God as displayed in action.
I’m obviously not orthodox, I don’t know how many real poets have ever been orthodox.
Even God had a Welsh name : He spoke to him in the old language; He was to have a peculiar care For the Welsh people. History showed us He was too big to be nailed to the wall Of a stone chapel, yet still we crammed him Between the boards of a black book .
I turn now
not to the Bible
but to Wallace Stevens.