These fragments ...
These cautious pencilled scratches, did they start
The land of spices; something understood
at school, aware the ‘craft or sullen art’
I found myself astray in a dark wood
ran deeper than those subjects learned by rote?
When in the chronicle of wasted time
Instinct or habit, storing lines to quote -
Love, all alike, no season knowes, nor clyme
sometimes no more than scraps or single phrase,
Bare ruined choirs … and now my life is
a jostling of words; at times, the ways
‘Only the wasteful virtues earn the sun’
a sonnet finds itself - the turning mind
So various, so beautiful, so new
searching the ‘not untrue and not unkind’;
A way of life, a way of getting through.
those half-forgotten half-remembered lines
What did I know, what did I know
shored against ruins and blind Fate’s
Time will say nothing but I told you so.
D A Prince
(Using lines and half-lines by
George Herbert, Dante, William Shakespeare, John Donne,
Chidiock Tichborne, W.B. Yeats, Matthew Arnold, James
Brockway, Robert Hayden, W.H. Auden.)
If you have any thoughts on this poem, D A Prince would be
pleased to hear them.