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To Maeve -- Mervyn Peake

Guest poem sent in by Elaine Campbell
(Poem #1488) To Maeve
 You walk unaware
 Of the slender gazelle
 That moves as you move
 And is one with the limbs
 That you have.

 You live unaware
 Of the faint, the unearthly
 Echo of hooves
 That within your white streams
 Of clear clay that I love

 Are in flight as you turn,
 As you stand, as you move,
 As you sleep, for the slender
 Gazelle never rests
 In your ivory grove.
-- Mervyn Peake
That Peake wrote this poem for his wife just tugs at my heart. He died in
1968 at the age of 57. He was best known for The Gormenghast Trilogy, an
unusual gothic romance set in the sprawling castle of Gormenghast whose
ridiculous rituals echo a Kafkaesque nightmare and whose absurd characters
seem to have strayed from Dickens. Also quite noted for his paintings and
illustrations, he was a brilliant poet whose haunted poems share the same
peculiar brilliance as his prose. He married fellow artist Maeve Gilmore,
the woman who would become the centre of his life and imagination. Amongst
his friends were Dylan Thomas and Graham Greene.

I discovered the poetry of Mervyn Peake soon after devouring "The
Gormenghast Trilogy". That was about 25 years ago; his poetry continues to
hold a place in my heart.

Elaine

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Peake first made his reputation as a painter and illustrator during the 1930s and 1940s, when he lived in London, I think that in this times he wrote this poem, I think that he could be a legend in the poetry!!22dd

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Maeve's devotion to Mervyn is touching, too. He wasn't without picadillos to forgive but they lived in a shared love of the imagination that is enviable.

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