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Monday, 15 March 2010

Hart Crane: North Labrador


File:Makkovik sunset.png

A land of leaning ice
Hugged by plaster-grey arches of sky,
Flings itself silently
Into eternity.

"Has no one come here to win you,
Or left you with the faintest blush
Upon your glittering breasts?
Have you no memories, O Darkly Bright?"

Cold-hushed, there is only the shifting of moments
That journey toward no Spring --
No birth, no death, no time nor sun
In answer.

File:HamiltonInlet 2006.PNG

North Labrador: Hart Crane, from White Buildings (1926)

View of Makkovik and harbour at sunset: scanned from print by Verne Equinox, 1995

Hamilton Inlet: photo by Patrick Coutu, 2006




Thanks for these morning readings, as the sun comes up over shoulder of ridge (traveling north every day as days get longer, daylight savings time). And pictures, that beach at Carmel River next to Jeffers especially 'prized' (Carmel Beach just to the right to the point, where waves can be really good (and water is always crystal clear). Meanwhile, hello from Joanne, who went down memory lane last night -- about the early days here in Bolinas with you and everyone. . . .


pink cloud in blue-white sky above black
ridge, red-tailed hawk calling on branch
in foreground, sound of waves in channel

form taken only in that way,
other origin in sense

is the ending, picture held,
certain view of world

silver of sunlight reflected in channel,
white cloud in pale blue sky on horizon

TC said...

Hold that picture.

(picture held)

silver of sunlight reflected in channel,
white cloud in pale blue sky on horizon

Love the way the scurrying vowels in the first of that concluding brace of lines lines then open out into the wide slow long ones of the second, perhaps something like way river opens into ocean?

(Pleasant to hear of dear Joanne, my love to her when you see her.)

human being said...


no spring here
so that
we may long for spring

this land is the womb of spring
the tomb of spring too


TC said...


Well, I can only imagine your frustrations with that still-born spring...

Coming to this comment after speaking to you a moment ago about Weldon Kees, I should relate that this poet was another lost soul who went to an early watery ending, even younger than did Kees as it happened. Unhappy, drunken, mendicant, falling in love with all the wrong men, Crane jumped off a steamer in the Gulf of Mexico at the age of 32.

In a poem called "Hart Crane", Robert Creeley captures the pathos of the life in the image of Crane as an aerial creature grounded and falling "in the gutter... /like a bird, say, wired to flight, the/ wings, pinned to their motion, stuffed."