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per amica silentia lunae

or, across the ferny brae with the evil voodoo celt

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and then there's this
The force that through the green fuse drives the flower

The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees
Is my destroyer.
And I am dumb to tell the crooked rose
My youth is bent by the same wintry fever.

The force that drives the water through the rocks
Drives my red blood; that dries the mouthing streams
Turns mine to wax.
And I am dumb to mouth unto my veins
How at the mountain spring the same mouth sucks.

The hand that whirls the water in the pool
Stirs the quicksand; that ropes the blowing wind
Hauls my shroud sail.
And I am dumb to tell the hanging man
How of my clay is made the hangman's lime.

The lips of time leech to the fountain head;
Love drips and gathers, but the fallen blood
Shall calm her sores.
And I am dumb to tell a weather's wind
How time has ticked a heaven round the stars.

And I am dumb to tell the lover's tomb
How at my sheet goes the same crooked worm.

- Dylan Thomas

I'm not overly familiar with Thomas' work, but the first line of this just reaches out and grabs me; lucid and luminous at once... not to mention appropriate for this time of year. And I like the poet's recognition of how the creative and destructive forces of nature work in him as well as on the world around him, and how this commonality links him with humanity and the universe as a whole.

There's also a certain delicate irony in the repeated "And I am dumb to tell..."; after all, isn't that what he's trying to do in his poem? But there's the recognition that such a feeling of connection, of participation mystique, can't be related, can only be experienced. All you can hope to do is show your reader- point at the moon (and perhaps give them a Zen-master slap if they persist in looking at your finger).

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Things like this always remind me of the laws concerning the Eleusinian mystery cult in Rome. It was forbidden to reveal the lesser mysteries, but not to reveal the greater mysteries, because they could not be conveyed except by experiencing them.

Indeed. "Guard the mysteries- reveal them constantly."

This is a poem I am very fond of-- thank you for posting it! I've always had a soft spot for Thomas, after spending years getting post-class lunches in the tavern room where he drank himself to death...=)

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