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Archive for December 6th, 2015

MonetPathThroughForestSnowEffect1870
Claude Monet, Path Through Forest Snow (1870)

Dear friends and readers,

I had read that Clive James has had a sort of reprieve; during this time of his dying a new medication has been found to slow down his kind of leukaemia. For how long who can say? So, he has written another poem:

The Visitation of the Dove

Night is at hand already: it is well
That we yield to the night. So Homer sings,
As if there were no Heaven and no Hell,
But only peace.
The gray dove comes down in a storm of wings
Into my garden where seeds never cease

To be supplied as if life fits a plan
Where needs are catered to. One need is not:
I do not wish to leave yet. If I can
I will stay on
And see another autumn, having got
This far with all my strength not yet quite gone.

When Phedre, dying, says that she can see
Already not much more than through a cloud,
She adds that death has taken clarity
Out of her eyes
To give it to the world. Behold my shroud:
This brilliance in the garden. The dove flies,

And as it lifts away I start these last
Few lines, for I know that my song must end.
It will be done, and go back to the past,
But I wish still
To be here watching when the leaves descend.
I might yield then, perhaps. But not until.

–Clive James

LauraelisabethJarnefeltFinnish1904to1985BeachView
Laura Elisabeth James (1904-85): Beach View

Miss Drake

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