Louise Bogan 

There is a grace to her speech. Images are intently drawn…


"As you lay in sleep
I saw the chart
Of artery and vein
Running from your heart,

Plain as the strength
Marked upon the leaf
Along the length,
Mortal and brief,

Of your gaunt hand.
I saw it clear:
The wiry brand
Of the life we bear

Mapped like the great
Rivers that rise
Beyond our fate
And distant from our eyes."

There is also a rhythm to some of her poems that I envy…


"What laid, I said,
My being waste?
'Twas your sweet flesh
With its sweet taste,--

Which, like a rose,
Fed with a breath,
And at its full
Belied all death.

It's at springs we drink;
It's bread we eat,
And no fine body,
Head to feet,

Should force all bread
And drink together,
Nor be both sun
And hidden weather.

Ah no, it should not;
Let it be.
But once heart's feast
You were to me."

Man Alone

"It is yourself you seek
In a long rage,
Scanning through light and darkness
Mirrors, the page,

Where should reflected be
Those eyes and that thick hair,
That passionate look, that laughter.
You should appear

Within the book, or doubled,
Freed, in the silvered glass;
Into all other bodies
Yourself should pass.

The glass does not dissolve;
Like walls the mirrors stand;
The printed page gives back
Words by another hand.

And your infatuate eye
Meets not itself below:
Strangers lie in your arms
As I lie now."

And then there is something else, almost the abandon of confession…

Poem in Prose

"I turned from side to side, from image to image, to put you down,
All to no purpose; for you the rhymes would not ring-
Not for you, beautiful and ridiculous, as are always the true inheritors
of love,
The bearers; their strong hair moulded to their foreheads as though by
the pressure of hands.
It is you that must sound in me secretly for the little time before my
mind, schooled in desperate esteem, forgets you-
And it is my virtue that I cannot give you out,
That you are absorbed into my strength, my mettle,
That in me you are matched, and that it is silence which comes from us."

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