|One of the vignettes from Thaliad,|
by Welsh artist Clive Hicks-Jenkins.
My Thaliad page.
Phoenicia Publishing Thaliad page.
This excerpt from Thaliad has already been shared in several places, so if you're a regular visitor to my little cluster of huts by the internet stream, you may have seen it. What's the news of Thaliad? Lady Word of Mouth appears to be working slowly and yet steadily on such an unusual item as a 21st-century adventure in verse . . .
Now and then in writing, I was aware of drawing on some prior work. There's one long passage where I felt Anglo-Saxon rhythms and ways of describing, for example. But in this one I felt the presence of Cavafy, and the close of this chapter is indebted to him. Writers are always indebted to those the masters they love who did the work, and occasionally that indebtedness is strong enough to notice and acknowledge.
from XXI, (Samuel and Thalia, after tragic events):
Then Samuel in sorrow vowed to her
Now I will leave and find another place,
A village where my heart is not in earth,
And Thalia replied to him with truth:
There is no other village, is no place
To find where your dead heart is not in earth.
And still he moaned his lot, exclaimed with tears,
I want to go where ground is not a waste,
And where my life is not a ruined town.
And Thalia with mercy answered him:
In time you will begin to heal your heart
And all that seems a waste will bloom once more.
But he went on in anger, blaming God,
The strangers who had maundered into town,
The grave that meant a stone around his neck,
Until she spoke in haste against his words:
For you there is only this blood-drenched ground,
The murdered life that is your freight of guilt,
Also the murdered life that is your own,
The world that you create by how you act
Or see or how you dream the world to be,
Your world that’s ruined everywhere like this,
Which you yourself have caused to be a waste,
Which you yourself have scorched with inner fire.