new zealand electronic poetry centre

I A I N   L O N I E


A Pupil Of The Muses

          after Montale

Pack your suitcase, my child
with all your poems sacred and profane
pack it
and throw it into the river.
The river will carry it far away and leave it
wedged among the boulders and half buried.
Maybe someone will rescue
a leaf or two, perhaps the worst:
what does it matter? The taste
of the Gods is different from ours
and whoever said it was better?
What matters is that from
the whole boiling something confronts us and says
you don’t know me, I don’t know you – still,
we share the lot, the god-given madness
of being here and not there, alive
or so we call ourselves, my child.
Leave now. And don’t
keep your luggage locked too tight.



Last updated 23 April, 2006