READING DON QUIXOTE
A child, I thought summer would solve all things,
But this illusion passed with unseen springs.
The flowers that bloomed at home were dead at school,
And youth was born to die in Liverpool,
Or in Sierra Leone, with the shakes.
The yearning reappeared as spring in books,
The poem read in drugstore magazines,
Half understood — the glass holds what it means —
Then vanished with girls who never turned round,
Fled palette faces sucked into the ground.
The sea came then, cobalt or whisky brown,
Always far, and by different name,
Archangel, Surabay, or Tlalpam…
The disued longing settled on a town
And then I saw that death was all my search,
But reigned up on the threshold of the church,
Angry with hope that on secular dawn
Would bring with it at last enlightened scorn.
Yet for all this I am still at suckle :
The tavern is the center of my circle.
Malcolm Lowry, “Reading Don Quixote” in X, A Quarterly Review, 2, 2, 1961, August, p. 87.*
* NOTE D’AP : poème repris dans The Collected Poetry of Malcolm Lowry, edited and introduced by Kathleen Scherf ; with explanatory annotation by Chris Ackerley. Published 1991, December, by University of British Columbia Press, Vancouver, BC.
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