Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Ironic Advent 2016 Meditation #10: Anxious Advent

 [Ben Camino, young ironist]

Ironic Advent 2016 Meditation #10: 
Anxious Advent 

Nobody should even try to understand this particular Ironic Advent Meditation except Jennifer Woodruff Tait and Edwin Woodruff Tait and a few others (probably named Jennifer or Laura) who have been with me from the beginning. 

All you need for footnotes to this long-ish poem in six parts are these. 

1. I realize it is bad in some parts and worse than bad in others. 

2. As you may be able to tell, much of it is heavily under the influence (to the point of imitation) of W. H. Auden whom I had discovered my senior year of college. 

3. It was written my senior year of college, preparing for Christmas, just after my father died (he died on Dec. 7, which I will write about tomorrow). 

4. To say that it sounds too formal and pretentious is nothing new to me. I was reading nothing but Auden and Donne and Crashaw and Milton and . . . what do you expect?

5. But, since I have previously honored W. H. Auden as the original "Ironic Advent Meditator" on the basis, mostly, of his amazing long poem, For the Time Being, I just sort of complete the circle here. I didn't have to read For the Time Being for my contemporary poetry class; heck, we were just doing a few short poems by Auden. But I was under his spell. It's one of the first real books of poetry by a real poet that I went out and bought because I wanted to read it. And to learn wisdom, slant. 

6. Finally, this. If you've ever read any of Ben Camino, you will recognize . . . oh, just about everything I've ever written about. Badly, yes. Pompous with a capital POMP, yes. But there's a couple of lines in it that still get me. That make me think that I'm glad I sat down to write a long poem in imitation of W. H. Auden. 

Tomorrow, I will write about Charles, my dear father, on the anniversary of his death.

Anxious Advent (For W. H. Auden)*

Sing of meaning mid the childish night,
Lightly stroke the savior's cheek.
Creator's smile, it lingers still.
Into the new world we shall peek.

Our desert thoughts now turn to Him,
His word our turning (prophets speak),
"In every time, each place, each journey,
Through haunted doorways you must seek."

     And so we look on
     While no one takes notice--
     Our perfumed apartments,
     Our mouths filled with sawdust.
     We violent, we cunning
     We ugly, we bravies--
     We little lost lambies
     Asleep on the way.
     We licking our lonelies,
     No crying we make--
     We little lost lambies
     Asleep on the way.

Lo! Baby-thing within the hay,
Hide not thy face; thy face we seek.
From far and near we’ve found our way,
Into the bent world, Light has peeked.

Our shadow lives now turn to Thee,
Our seasoned cheer with age grows weak,
And pain of living stills our hearts,
Into the young world we would peek.

     For old world relies on
     Her soul-killing power.
     Brave hatred betrayed us
     In earth's early hour.
     We longing, we hoping,
     We evil, we praying
     For little lost lambies
     So far from the way.
     We licking our lonelies,
     While dying, we play.
     We little lost lambies
     So far from the way.

"Please leave by the door that's left for you,
For you must leave."

"Please leave with the life that's meaningless,
For you must leave."

"Please leave with belief in nothingness,
For you must believe."

"Please live with the life of Sisyphus,
For you must live."

"Please live with belief in humanity,
For you must . . . ."

"Live . . .”

"For you must."

The shadow lives have turned to lies,
To scienced truth, from truth set free,
And so they hope to turn from Thee,
The stable myth, whose symmetry
Has held the world from infancy--
We blind our hearts and hope to see.

a child sighs through his window,
looking for the world he believed in,
looking for the point of perfection
to put his hope in.

the spirits long have forsook him,
or teachers have made him believe so,
his night in the desert reminds him
that beauty once lived here.

V. (Litany)
When I think of greed and sacrifice,
     I think of this sick and lovely time.
When I think of joy and deathly strife,
     All babes of Bethlehem, pray for us.
When I think of how my light is spent,
     I'm trying John, I'm trying.
As the world I love is shrinking, sinking,
     Language can’t match anguish.
Are all myths,
Are all worlds,
All under erasure?

VI. (Holly Day?)
Baby dear,
Mother is near,
Father is here,
Christmas cheer,
Happy year,
Happy tears,
Anything to calm the fear
Of angels’ song.

*Yes, I said that. 




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