Sunday, May 12, 2013

Bowles, Sitwell, and Capote

I began reading The Collected Works of Jane Bowles this morning; normally, I do not like to read Introductions to books yet this one had been written by one of my favourite authors - Truman Capote. I had to read it. As I began my introduction to Jane Bowles and the world she inhabited, Capote made mention of a poem by Dame Edith Sitwell that reminded him of Jane. Of course, I had to read the full poem and found it to be quite delightful.

So, here is the full poem - Aubade - by Dame Edith Sitwell.

Jane, Jane,
Tall as a crane,
The morning light creaks down again;

Comb your cockscomb-ragged hair,
Jane, Jane, come down the stair.

Each dull blunt wooden stalactite
Of rain creaks, hardened by the light,

Sounding like an overtone
From some lonely world unknown.

But the creaking empty light
Will never harden into sight,

Will never penetrate your brain
With overtones like the blunt rain.

The light would show (if it could harden)
Eternities of kitchen garden,

Cockscomb flowers that none will pluck,
And wooden flowers that 'gin to cluck.

In the kitchen you must light
Flames as staring, red and white,

As carrots or as turnips shining
Where the cold dawn light lies whining.

Cockscomb hair on the cold wind
Hangs limp, turns the milk's weak mind . . .

Jane, Jane,
Tall as a crane,
The morning light creaks down again! 

1 comment:

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