Ultima.

"For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is."
– Wallace Stevens, The Snow Man.

We take the pride of all things
the death of all things
tilted to the dark silhouette 
tapping into the froth of gardenias,
crawling, drinking from their death-beds;

I had never seen the gardenias
I told her; never knew it well,
what a waste to entrance amongst
ourselves and our cold-blooded feet,
because these pretty girls 
do not know the ultima, the divine comedies
of the messianic toll; bathe the ecstasy in ashes
and entice the falling seconds
agonized in poetry; I scatter to an age of snow
but I am too young; and bone and drowning,
I want to drown at the feet of the rain
if so should she bless me through
the thunder-strike empire in her eyes—
only figments to mine.

© 2021 lucysworks.com All Rights Reserved. 

Written for the dVerse prompt: Take the last lines of Wallace Stevens’ The Snow Man and write a poem that is imbued with the existential paradox implied there.

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32 Comments

  1. one paradox of the poem is the dark mood behind white perfumed gardenias – it is utterly beuatiful in so many lines and more white references too
    “bathe the ecstasy in ashes
    and entice the falling seconds
    agonized in poetry; I scatter to an age of snow
    but I am too young; and bone and drowning,”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. My goodness this is utterly beautiful! I so love these lines; “but I am too young; and bone and drowning, I want to drown at the feet of the rain if so should she bless me through the thunder-strike empire in her eyes—only figments to mine.”😍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, thank you. I really wanted to convey such paradox of suffering, how there can be more as we grow throughout life. It’s like a paradox within a paradox within a… Well, you know. 😁

      It’s not always like that of course, but for some with physical and mental health problems, it’s a constant battle, up and downs, specifically when we focus too much on those downs.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is profoundly beautiful Lucy:
    ‘because these pretty girls
    do not know the ultima, the divine comedies
    of the messianic toll;’
    To say ‘you have a way with words’ would be the understatement of the year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, thank you so much Ingrid! 😊 However thank you alone merely does not suffice to show the gratitude I feel from your support. You are amazing and I always appreciate your kindness and insight. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Your gardenias reminded me of Billie Holiday, Lucy, and I imagined her ‘dark silhouette tapping into the froth of gardenias’, which then gave a new meaning to the pretty girls who ‘do not know the ultima, the divine comedies of the messianic toll’. These lines are so gorgeous:
    ‘…I scatter to an age of snow
    but I am too young; and bone and drowning,
    I want to drown at the feet of the rain’.

    Liked by 1 person

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