Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Denise Levertov / Psalm Concerning the Castle

Psalm Concerning the Castle

Let me be at the place of the castle.
Let the castle be within me.
Let it rise foursquare from the moat's ring.
Let the moat's waters reflect green plumage of ducks, let
the shells of swimming turtles break the surface or be
seen through the rippling depths.
Let horsemen be stationed at the rim of it, and a dog,
always alert on the brink of sleep.
Let the space under the first storey be dark, let the water
lap the stone posts, and vivid green slime glimmer upon
them; let a boat be kept there.
Let the caryatids of the second storey be bears upheld on
beams that are dragons.
On the parapet of the central room, let there be four
archers, looking off to the four horizons. Within, let
the prince be at home, let him sit in deep thought, at
peace, all the windows open to the loggias.
Let the young queen sit above, in the cool air, her child in
her arms; let her look with joy at the great circle, the
pilgrim shadows, the work of the sun and the play of
the wind. Let her walk to and fro. Let the columns uphold
the roof, let the storeys uphold the columns, let there
be dark space below the lowest floor, let the castle rise
foursquare out of the moat, let the moat be a ring and
the water deep, let the guardians guard it, let there be
wide lands around it, let that country where it stands be
within me, let me be where it is. 

"Psalm Concerning A Castle (Broadside)" 
Perishable Press - W.S. Hamady, 1966 

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