The Sibyl, Bound, by S.R. Brown


(Lagerkvist, P. The Sibyl. Translated by Walford, N. Vol. V-240. New York, NY: Vintage Books, 1958)

I – P 1

(pinioned within
the (ancient
(sibyl (god’s
(her son’s unchanging (smile))
touched)) rocks)

II – P 3-5

gazes ((below,
(maelstrom (of rocks.
(serene (white (the bridal)):
temple)) above)
the city)

III – P 7-10

Threading the path
(mirrored, mazed,(
(the sibylline focus)
raveling unfocused intent,)
reflecting an intricate silence)
uncreating prophecy:

IV – P 10-14

thorn and blood:
(stumbling toward
(the cross; (offered
) pausing,
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
resounding): love?
(divine regard (burns)))),

VII – P 27-29

(:now) mute,
(sibyl’s unchanging
son (smiling: (enigmatic
aware) unspeaking (mystery)))
(grimace mirroring emptiness)?)),

VIII – P 29-33

((the christ:
(love: a gray
(unresting) passion.) in
agony): indifference)

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)
vertiginous)), summons,

XI – P 46-50

the maelstrom
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, (
repudiated: unseen,
(within the rock) absolved.) redeemed.),
mute.), lost.)

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
(blinding)) irresistable
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.

The Sibyl, Bound, by S.R. Brown
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