from Eurydice by H.D.
We turn several words over and over these past few days, measuring their weight. Honor versus respect. What is demanded versus what is earned. What is poetry for, I ask myself, if not to closely examine what we mean by what we say, and how we say it. You think language is economy. I imagine crossing the seas, sitting by the feet of people who understand that words are more than the attempt to open the mouth.
To reject the familiar myth: does it free you, or does it burden you?
We leave each other flowers. One blooms, the other wounds.
At least I have the flowers of myself,
and my thoughts, no god
can take that;
I have the fervour of myself for a presence
and my own spirit for light;
and my spirit with its loss
though small against the black,
small against the formless rocks,
hell must break before I am lost;
before I am lost,
hell must open like a red rose
for the dead to pass.
This is from Selected Poems by H.D., edited by Louis L. Martz, published by New Directions, 1982.