Age of Jahiliyah

A blog of wide and varied interest, including Islam, Muslims, Poetry, Art and much more.

Archive for the day “May 21, 2007”

Voyages by Hart Crane


Above the fresh ruffles of the surf

Bright striped urchins flay each other with sand.

They have contrived a conquest for shell shucks,

And their fingers crumble fragments of baked weed

Gaily digging and scattering.

And in answer to their treble interjections

The sun beats lightning on the waves,

The waves fold thunder on the sand;

And could they hear me I would tell them:

O brilliant kids, frisk with your dog,

Fondle your shells and sticks, bleached

By time and the elements; but there is a line

You must not cross nor ever trust beyond it

Spry cordage of your bodies to caresses

Too lichen-faithful from too wide a breast.

The bottom of the sea is cruel.


–And yet this great wink of eternity,

Of rimless floods, unfettered leewardings,

Samite sheeted and processioned where

Her undinal vast belly moonward bends,

Laughing the wrapt inflections of our love;

Take this Sea, whose diapason knells

On scrolls of silver snowy sentences,

The sceptred terror of whose sessions rends

As her demeanors motion well or ill,

All but the pieties of lovers’ hands.

And onward, as bells off San Salvador

Salute the crocus lustres of the stars,

In these poinsettia meadows of her tides,–

Adagios of islands, O my Prodigal,

Complete the dark confessions her veins spell.

Mark how her turning shoulders wind the hours,

And hasten while her penniless rich palms

Pass superscription of bent foam and wave,–

Hasten, while they are true,–sleep, death, desire,

Close round one instant in one floating flower.

Bind us in time, O Seasons clear, and awe.

O minstrel galleons of Carib fire,

Bequeath us to no earthly shore until

Is answered in the vortex of our grave

The seal’s wide spindrift gaze toward paradise.


Infinite consanguinity it bears
This tendered theme of you that light
Retrieves from sea plains where the sky
Resigns a breast that every wave enthrones;
While ribboned water lanes I wind
Are laved and scattered with no stroke
Wide from your side, whereto this hour
The sea lifts, also, reliquary hands.

And so, admitted through black swollen gates
That must arrest all distance otherwise,
Past whirling pillars and lithe pediments,
Light wrestling there incessantly with light,
Star kissing star through wave on wave unto
Your body rocking!
and where death, if shed,
Presumes no carnage, but this single change,-
Upon the steep floor flung from dawn to dawn
The silken skilled transmemberment of song;

Permit me voyage, love, into your hands . .

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