So, taking this Brit Lit class has really benefitted my poetry, even though my fiction projects are still languishing in the face of travel, pasta, and RPG. This poem was inspired by Tennyson’s fear of death in his “In Memoriam A.H.H.” Like the last one, it is not completed but is a work in progress that I thought I’d share. The final version will make it’s way here eventually, I daresay.
If you would seek Avalon, turn back
Seek shelter in the raging storm
Your eyes may burn, your skeleton crack
But though your body grind to ash
Untried your soul won’t come to harm.
The lasting wound is not the gash
Of sword or brand, recalls offense
Once earned, concealed, where mental lashes
Find no balm, but that they burn
At every touch, destroying sense.
Gold Eden promises to turn
Mind’s ache to joy, and heal both brain
And body—if you merely spurn
Your life and limb, choose loneliness,
Embrace despair, for later gain.
Destroy yourself, for heaven’s bliss
If sure your loss will earn your fate
For Earth’s content in vain you’ll miss
To find Forever made of glass
Where piety trades cruel real for naught,
Unconscious tomb for ivory gate.