Guest poem submitted by Laura Harding:
(Poem #762) Miranda
My dear one is mine as mirrors are lonely, As the poor and sad are real to the good king, And the high green hill sits always by the sea. Up jumped the Black Man behind the elder tree, Turned a somersault and ran away waving; My Dear One is mine as mirrors are lonely. The Witch gave a squawk; her venomous body Melted into light as water leaves a spring, And the high green hill sits always by the sea. At his crossroads, too, the Ancient prayed for me, Down his wasted cheeks tears of joy were running: My dear one is mine as mirrors are lonely. He kissed me awake, and no one was sorry; The sun shone on sails, eyes, pebbles, anything, And the high green hill sits always by the sea. So to remember our changing garden, we Are linked as children in a circle dancing: My dear one is mine as mirrors are lonely, And the high, green hill sits always by the sea.
This is Miranda's one speaking part in 'The Sea and the Mirror', Auden's long, careful, mostly prose gambit with the Faust-theme, a fantasia on Shakespeare's 'Tempest'. [The 'sea' and the 'mirror' appear through this whole work in various casts; most pointedly, the sea is the vast and dangerous real inner or outer life, the mirror, art's solipsistic construct. Come to think of it, seas and mirrors don't appear outright anywhere in the work except in the above poem, which figures at just about the halfway point... for more on this awesome play, please read it... ] To my mind this first line is enough to carry whatever the poet might want to put in a dozen more; he's gone further, though, and there's a rich little surprise in every verse. I only have some trouble with the final stanza - it seems a bit vacuous. On the other hand, maybe this is intentional: in Miranda's lucky state, anything goes - and I love her all the more for it. Laura.