Please note that the poems and essays on this site are copyright and may not be reproduced without the author's permission.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Samuel Beckett: Cascando

Sono Osato in Francesca da Rimini costume. | by National Library of Australia Commons

Sono Osato in Francesca da Rimini costume, sometime in 1940: photographer unknown (Geoffrey Ingram collection of ballet photographs from the Ballets Russes Australian tour, 1936-1940, National Library of Australia)
why not merely the despaired of
occasion of

is it not better abort than be barren

the hours after you are gone are so leaden
they will always start dragging too soon
the grapples clawing blindly the bed of want
bringing up the bones the old loves
sockets filled once with eyes like yours
all always is it better too soon than never
the black want splashing their faces
saying again nine days never floated the loved
nor nine months
nor nine lives

saying again
if you do not teach me I shall not learn
saying again there is a last
even of last times
last times of begging
last times of loving
of knowing not knowing pretending
a last even of last times of saying
if you do not love me I shall not be loved
if I do not love you I shall not love

the churn of stale words in the heart again
love love love thud of the old plunger
pestling the unalterable
whey of words
terrified again
of not loving
of loving and not you
of being loved and not by you
of knowing not knowing pretending
I and all the others that will love you
if they love you

unless they love you

Samuel Beckett (1906-1989): Cascando, 1934, first published Dublin Magazine, October-December 1936

Colonel de Basil's "Original Ballet Russe" (Russian Ballet) season, Theatre Royal, Sydney, 1939-1940, / Sam Hood | by State Library of New South Wales collection

Sono Osato in Colonel de Basil's "Original Ballet Russe" (Russian Ballet) season, Theatre Royal, Sydney, 1939-1940: photo by Sam Hood, c. 1939 (State Library of New South Wales)


Anonymous said...

number nine... mmm I wonder why he used it! I do not understand or believe much in numerology !

Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore said...

It almost makes you want to give up writing poetry. And then it doesn't.

TC said...

Sandra and Abday-Hayy, thank you both very much for these comments going straight to the wavering heart of the matter.

Sandra's is indeed the inevitable question which in simple biological terms answers itself, and Abdal-Hayy's the paradoxical conclusion which finally seems the most apt response to this remarkable poetic statement about the essential inconclusiveness built into the very heart of all one's significant relations with other people.

Not forgetting also:

"I can't go on. I'll go on."

(The Unnameable)

Anonymous said...

Tom thanks to you too !