Hilda Doolittle , Κίρκη


It was easy enough

to bend them to my wish,

it was easy enough

to alter them with a touch,

but you

adrift on the great sea,

how shall I call you back?

Cedar and white ash,

rock-cedar and sand plants

and tamarisk

red cedar and white cedar

and black cedar from the inmost forest,

fragrance upon fragrance

and all of my sea-magic is for nought.

It was easy enough—

a thought called them

from the sharp edges of the earth;

they prayed for a touch,

they cried for the sight of my face,

they entreated me

till in pity

I turned each to his own self.

Panther and panther,

then a black leopard

follows close—

black panther and red

and a great hound,

a god-like beast,

cut the sand in a clear ring

and shut me from the earth,

and cover the sea-sound

with their throats,

and the sea-roar with their own barks

and bellowing and snarls,

and the sea-stars

and the swirl of the sand,

and the rock-tamarisk

and the wind resonance—

but not your voice.

It is easy enough to call men

from the edges of the earth.

It is easy enough to summon them to my feet

with a thought—

it is beautiful to see the tall panther

and the sleek deer-hounds

circle in the dark.

It is easy enough

to make cedar and white ash fumes

into palaces

and to cover the sea-caves

with ivory and onyx.

But I would give up

rock-fringes of coral

and the inmost chamber

of my island palace

and my own gifts

and the whole region

of my power and magic

for your glance.

Hilda Doolittle Circre: https://poets.org/poem/circe?page=1

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