A Georgia Song, A Georgia Poet


SONG OF SENLIN (from “Senlin, A Biography“)

by: Conrad Aiken (1889-1973) Poet Laureate of/from Georgia

—————————————————————————

IT is morning, Senlin says, and in the morning

When the light drips through the shutters like the dew,

I arise, I face the sunrise,

And do the things my fathers learned to do.

Stars in the purple dusk above the rooftops

Pale in a saffron mist and seem to die,

And I myself on a swiftly tilting planet

Stand before a glass and tie my tie.

*

Vine leaves tap my window,

Dew-drops sing to the garden stones,

The robin chirps in the chinaberry tree

Repeating three clear tones.

*

It is morning. I stand by the mirror

And tie my tie once more.

While waves far off in a pale rose twilight

Crash on a white sand shore.

I stand by a mirror and comb my hair:

How small and white my face!–

The green earth tilts through a sphere of air

And bathes in a flame of space.

There are houses hanging above the stars

And stars hung under a sea. . .

And a sun far off in a shell of silence

Dapples my walls for me. . .

*

It is morning, Senlin says, and in the morning

Should I not pause in the light to remember God?

Upright and firm I stand on a star unstable,

He is immense and lonely as a cloud.

I will dedicate this moment before my mirror

To him alone, and for him I will comb my hair.

Accept these humble offerings, cloud of silence!

I will think of you as I descend the stair.

*

Vine leaves tap my window,

The snail-track shines on the stones,

Dew-drops flash from the chinaberry tree

Repeating two clear tones.

*

It is morning, I awake from a bed of silence,

Shining I rise from the starless waters of sleep.

The walls are about me still as in the evening,

I am the same, and the same name still I keep.

The earth revolves with me, yet makes no motion,

The stars pale silently in a coral sky.

In a whistling void I stand before my mirror,

Unconcerned, I tie my tie.

*

There are horses neighing on far-off hills

Tossing their long white manes,

And mountains flash in the rose-white dusk,

Their shoulders black with rains. . .

*

It is morning. I stand by the mirror

And surprise my soul once more;

The blue air rushes above my ceiling,

There are suns beneath my floor. . .

*

. . . It is morning, Senlin says, I ascend from darkness

And depart on the winds of space for I know not where,

My watch is wound, a key is in my pocket,

And the sky is darkened as I descend the stair.

There are shadows across the windows, clouds in heaven,

And a god among the stars; and I will go

Thinking of him as I might think of daybreak

And humming a tune I know. . .

*

Vine-leaves tap at the window,

Dew-drops sing to the garden stones,

The robin chirps in the chinaberry tree

Repeating three clear tones.

*   *   *

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2 thoughts on “A Georgia Song, A Georgia Poet

  1. Lieber Gruss Sehr schön geschrieben ich stehe vor dem Spiegel ich kann in meine Seele schauen,wenn man auf sein Herz hört kann man in seine Seele schaun.Grüsse lieb und wünsche einen schönen Tag Gislinde.

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