20060718

i wrote a sestina

Sometime, let’s ride the night-time ferry
Its lights stretched out on rippling water.
The windy mourning of the seabirds
Will guide us through our lonely journey
And tell of great and unnamed sadness
Awaiting in the dim horizon.

And when we reach that dark horizon
We’ll cast our souls off of this ferry
And drown in oceans made of sadness.
But tears are nothing to this water
And, at the end of our death-journey
We’ll find only the countless seabirds.

Oh, how they keen and cry, those seabirds!
They know what’s there, at the horizon
That makes us carry on our journey.
For what is this, our night-time ferry
If not a shrine on pitch-dark water,
A testament to all our sadness.

We can’t see limits to this sadness
And so, distraught, we ask the seabirds,
Who all reply, “There is no water,
“There’s happiness on that horizon
“If only you’d step off that ferry.
“Put to an end your foolish journey!”

But nothing’s left to us save journey,
Return’s prevented by our sadness
So we’ll forever ride this ferry
Plagued by the lying of the seabirds.
We know what’s there, at the horizon
For there begins the endless water.

Eternity on unlit water!
The ancient promise of this journey,
The light we see on the horizon -
Is it not better to know sadness?
Or to give in and join the seabirds
That skirl about the grand night-ferry?

The water here gives way to sadness
Here ends our journey, where the seabirds
Leave our night-ferry: the horizon.

1 comment:

Megan said...

Erik Bear! I just remembered now that you told me you wrote a sestina, and then I rushed to your journal to read it.

I like it a lot! I really like the words you chose to use, like "keen" and "skirl." And this line: "If not a shrine on pitch-dark water." It has a good rhythm, I think. The imagery is really well done, because it's pretty in a sad sort of way.

I feel like I'm not very good at expressing how much I like artistic things, because I can't comment in as nice a language as you write, but I really do like it alot.