July 7, 2003: On Reading William Blake’s “The Sick Rose”

On Reading William Blake’s ‘The Sick Rose’

Rose of spirit, rose of light,
spirit whereof all will tell,
is this black vision of my sight
the fashion of a prideful spell,
mystic charm of magic bright,
O’ judgement of fire and fright?

what everlasting force confounded
in its being, like some human
spirit shrunken in a bounded
immortality, what Blossom
gathers us inward, astounded?
is this sickness that is Doom?

I wrote, beside the poem, the words…”Roses, dried in a clay pitcher”

In the kitchen,
The words, “I will always love you.”
It was the last night for
Words, hands and music.
I guess his cold had him a little down.

Dried roses in a pitcher on
my dresser,
Remind me of sentimental
valentines and a time
when I could believe in love.

His dark secret
my life disarms.
Where now are your mystic charms?
Where is your magic bright?
You stab my heart with your forgotten
promises (O’ Right! You never make promises!)
Like a thorn, this lesson, taught.

©Kathleen Moors

There is such a legacy in poetry and thought left by both Blake and Ginsberg…a rich collection of material for people to ponder!


Cain Fleeing Abel William Blake, 1826

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