Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Garden of Proserpina

Since riddles are the order of our day
Come here, my love, and I will tell thee one

There is a place to which all poets come
Some having sought it long, some unawares,
Some having battled monsters, some asleep
Who chances upon the path in thickest dream,
Some lost in mythy mazes, some direct....

..These things are there. The garden and the tree
The serpent at its root, the fruit of gold
The woman in the shadow of the boughs
The running water and the grassy space.

They are and were there. At the old world's rim,
In the Hesperidean grove, the fruit
Glowed golden on enternal boughs, and there
The dragon Ladon crisped his jewelled crest
Scraped a gold claw and sharped a silver tooth
And dozed and waiting through eternity
Until the tricksy hero Herakles
Came to his dispossesion and the theft....

...All these are true and gone. The place is there.
Is what we name it, and is not. It is. 

 Randolph Henry Ash,  The Garden of Proserpina, Possession by A.S.Byatt

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