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.
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