After Lorca By Ted Hughes

Arshile Gorky, Dark Green Painting, ca.1948, oil on canvas, 43 3/4 x 55 1/2 in.
© 2009 Estate of Arshile Gorky/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.



AFTER LORCA
by Ted Hughes


The clock says "When will it be morning?" 
The sun says "Noon hurt me." 

The river cries with its mouthful of mud 
And the sea moves every way without moving.

Out of my ear grew a reed 
Never touched by mouth. 
Paper yellows, even without flame, 
But in words carbon has already become diamond.

A supple river of mirrors I run on 
Where great shadows rise to the glance, 
Flowing all forward and bringing 
The world through my reflection.

A voice like a ghost that is not 
Rustle that dead in passage 
Leaving the living chilled, 
Wipe clear the pure glass of stone.

Wipe clear the pure stone of flesh.


A song tickling God's ear
Till he laughs and catches it with his hand
A song with a man's face
That God holds up in his fingers.


Comments

Chirstopher North said…
As quoted the poem is missing the final stanza
Paul Behnke said…
Thanks. Just corrected it.
Anonymous said…
That final stanza belongs to a different poem, namely "On Westminster Bridge".

This is the missing one from "After Lorca"":

A song tickling God's ear
Till he laughs and catches it with his hand
A song with a man's face
That God holds up in his fingers.
Paul Behnke said…
Anon,

Thanks very much for taking the time to send the correction.
I think I finally found the complete poem online and hope I've presented it as it should be.

Best,

Paul