Monday, February 4, 2013

Judith Harway's "Middle Ages" {a beautiful poem}

Agnes Martin

Middle Ages

Eventually, we have to face the truth:
time passes, and flesh passes,
and the things we passed for
fall away like rags.
Someone brags or someone sings
and suddenly the artist is a hack,
the soul a sham, the word
(which, in the end, is all we have)
reveals its lie. We learn
the avalanche that buries us
is ours, the cells of sloughed off skins,
the dust we're destined for
because (or so we're told)
it's our beginning. Eventually,
our words begin to crumble
underneath the weight
of worlds we build, believing
in no other. I am writing this
because I love you still,
because the girl you loved lies
like a baby fallen in the well,
and when they bring her up—
or if, perhaps—we have to face
the truth of what survives.

poem: Judith Harway, author of All That is Left (2009) and The Memory Box (2002).

art:  Agnes Martin, Starlight, 1963. Watercolor and ink on paper, 8 x 8 in. Private Collection

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