by James McAuley

James McAuley

To speak of love. A tear
Is a disordered thing;
Dreams are procurers; talk
Corrupts imagining.
Of such am I. Your heel
Must tread a wilderness,
Merely perhaps create
In me a loneliness
And yet no solitude.
O but the self, to live,
Must be apart. How else
Can either say, I give
Myself, when what is given
Is unpossessed, unknown?
So hard a thing is love:
To give, to be alone.
To speak of lust. Your heart
Is in me as a sun;
Your flesh is vision, lit
With joy that I have won.
And that flung plume of hair
Which from your body breaks
In bright desire, burns
Within my eyes and takes
Its kindling from my brain.
In you is brightness: I
Am dazed and still. In you
Is darkness: there I die.

Collected Poems 1936-1970

Last updated January 14, 2019