(Lagerkvist, P. The Sibyl. Translated by Walford, N. Vol. V-240. New York, NY: Vintage Books, 1958)
I – P 1
(her son’s unchanging (smile))
II – P 3-5
(maelstrom (of rocks.
(serene (white (the bridal)):
III – P 7-10
Threading the path
(the sibylline focus)
raveling unfocused intent,)
reflecting an intricate silence)
IV – P 10-14
thorn and blood:
(the cross; (offered
a gray immortality,)
a clamorous ascension.
V – P 14-23
And (within: (the despair,
(directionless, (cursed) echoing)
empty;) without (the stilled
landscape (:cindered, (silent)
VI – P 24-27
wandering the ashen earth (
(an uncaring (eternally
(divine regard (burns)))),
VII – P 27-29
son (smiling: (enigmatic
aware) unspeaking (mystery)))
(grimace mirroring emptiness)?)),
VIII – P 29-33
(love: a gray
(unresting) passion.) in
IX – P 33-38
Memory: dreaming; (alone
on the gentle hills
(the empty fields:
enfleshed within rock and blade: tranquil,)
X – P 38-46
though the light,
weaves (coalesce: (hills,
white temple above, (
the wet rock (exhaling
the burning sight)
XI – P 46-50
under (rapture: (immured above (the smoking
cleft; (apollonian (mounting;
(presence.) ecstasy): inhuman, searing.
) the rocks,) a blinding abyss.)
an empty mirror:) the temple.
XII – P 50-56
Hiatus: (the white (
(labyrinth: released (unmasking
(a gentler (god))? annihilation:) pain;
) expectation;) revelation:) silence
XIII – P 56-61
Immured: (recessionals: sanctioning
(distant, (chaos: (the bright approach!)
unchaste redemption.) apprehending) repudiation:)
a chambered inscrutability.
XIV – P 61-70
Unbound, (an agonizing
clarity (the divine:
(silent; succored, (
(within the rock) absolved.) redeemed.),
XV – P 70-78
(shadowed ((inflection) doorway)) released
(opened? (is (, the human darkness) opaque?)),
XVI – P 78-87
resonance: (dyad: earth (a white (ceremony? (the open gulf))
enfolding (an embrace
(gentle) succoring)); the burning river (the sun’s
(turbulence (a twisting (reflection) underlay)
XVII – P 87-96
in mirroring (inhuman (the (torrent
divine) passion), erasure.
The sun is pinioned above the city: a focused
unchanging smile unblessing silence. The sibylline
ascension: despair. Immortal? A cindered enigma,
indifferent, unspeaking, divine love’s cursed. Unresting,
a memory of passion, enfleshed, now wandering directionless.
The son is mute; the sybil, remembering the rock
and fields, weaves dreams of the mundane (the summons:
vertiginous descent to blinding rapture: a labyrinth
of revelation). Immured? The bright approach reflects
unchaste redemption: a doorway to the maelstrom.
Unbound within the rock, the open gulf
enfolds inhuman passion: annihilation.
To summon the maelstrom enfleshes a mirror’s embrace:
its echoes unravel the labyrinths of the divine.
— by Steven Ravett Brown
Copyright© 2022, by Steven Ravett Brown. All Rights Reserved.
SR Brown is a published philosopher, neuroscientist, composer, and poet. He has attempted, with only moderate success, to integrate art, philosophy, and science into works such as the one above. He is still struggling with that Sisyphean task, despite all indications of its futility, hopefully still motivated by more than just habit.