The Ethereal Response

The Ethereal Response

Pandora, by John William Waterhouse. 1896

I looked again at one of my poems from the 90s, and tried to place it in context. Then and now. As experiment, as reevaluation. The quotes are new additions and, as always, this is a work in progress . . . .


“He talked to her endlessly about his love of horizontals: how they, the great levels of sky and land in Lincolnshire, meant to him the eternality of the will, just as the bowed Norman arches of the church, repeating themselves, meant the dogged leaping forward of the persistent human soul, on and on, nobody knows where; in contradiction to the perpendicular lines and to the Gothic arch, which, he said, leapt up at heaven and touched the ecstasy and lost itself in the divine.”  — D. H. Lawrence


“What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind . . .”  — William Wordsworth


Rainbow: Layers and Laments


Ripples in her mind like the moon
In the lake and the ripples on that lake
Sent her to find him
To find Lawrence on his cross

She would walk with him and force
DH to destroy his need to dominate
The need to escape his either/or

Possess women or be possessed

Masculine control or incest again

He held her looking for blood
And mythic transcendence

She talked of his pagan hopes
And his fear
Of the cold North the mines the dust
And the schoolrooms

Where was the Southern Sun?

And with each glass of white wine
They tortured him in libraries and reception halls
The Literati danced among their jealousies

Their superiors

The bed our bed was a tactile primal scene
The softness of the pillows
Rose up in contrast with the passion
Taking the cold from the dewy grass

And she found Lawrence again and again
When she found me
Only to lose him to the Idea of Union

I could see it in her glazed eyes
This fact of the prophet’s place between us
Dividing us like a wailing wall

The bed and the walls and the wind
Pulled her back down into sensuality
While he rose and flew

But I wasn’t hurt anymore
Or angry or sad
Knowing her loneliness held
Two dead lovers in her grasp



  — by Douglas Pinson


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