Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Penelope poems


Penelope

In the pathway of the sun,
In the footsteps of the breeze,
Where the world and sky are one,
He shall ride the silver seas,
He shall cut the glittering wave.
I shall sit at home, and rock;
Rise, to heed a neighbor's knock;
Brew my tea, and snip my thread;
Bleach the linen for my bed.
They will call him brave. 
Dorothy Parker

Penelope

By Carol Ann Duffy
At first, I looked along the road
hoping to see him saunter home
among the olive trees,
a whistle for the dog
who mourned him with his warm head on my knees.
Six months of this
and then i noticed that whole days had passed
without my noticing.
I sorted cloth and scissors, needle, thread,
thinking to amuse myself,
but found a lifetime’s industry instead.
I sewed a girl
under a single star—cross-stitch, silver silk—
running after childhood’s bouncing ball.
I chose between three greens for the grass;
a smoky pink, a shadow’s grey
to show a snapdragon gargling a bee
I threaded walnut brown for a tree,
my thimble like an acorn
pushing up through umber soil.
Beneath the shade
I wrapped a maiden in a deep embrace
with heroism’s boy
and lost myself completely
in a wild embroidery of love, lust, lessons learnt;
then watched him sail away
into the loose gold stitching of the sun.
And when the others came to take his place,
disturb my peace,
I played for time.
I wore a widow’s face, kept my head down,
did my work by day, at night unpicked it.
I knew which hour of the dark the moon
would start to fray,
I stitched it.
Grey threads and brown
pursued my needle’s leaping fish
to form a river that would never reach the sea.
I tried it. I was picking out
the smile of a woman at the centre
of this world, self-contained, absorbed, content,
most certainly not waiting,
when I heard a far-too-late familiar tread outside the door.
I licked my scarlet thread
and aimed it surely at the middle of the needle’s eye once more.

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