Friday, May 15, 2009

google image

THE LIONESS

The scent of her beauty draws me to her place.
The desert stretches, edge from edge.
Rock. Silver grasses. Drinking hole.
The starry sky.

The lioness pauses
in her back-and-forth pacing of three yards square
and looks at me. Her eyes
are truthful. They mirror rivers,
seacoasts, volcanoes, the warmth
of moon-bathed promontories.
Under her haunches’ golden hide
flows an innate, half-abnegated power.
Her walk
is bounded. Three square yards
encompass where she goes.

In country like this, I say, the problem is always
one of straying too far, not of staying
within bounds. There are caves,
high rocks, you don’t explore. Yet you know
they exist. Her proud, vulnerable head
sniffs toward them. It is her country, she
knows they exist.

I come towards her in the starlight.
I look into her eyes
as one who loves can look,
entering the space behind her eyeballs,
leaving myself outside.
So, at last, through her pupils,
I see what she is seeing:
between her and the river’s flood,
the volcano veiled in rainbow,
a pen that measures three yards square.
Lashed bars.
The cage.
The penance.

Adrienne Rich, The Dream of a Common Language, 1975

9 comments:

Lorna said...

Beautiful, the way you matched the picture/photo with the poem. Good job. I like this.


~Lorna

A Cuban In London said...

This is a beautiful combination of image and poem. Oh, poetry, there was a discussion recently in the papers over what poetry is and what should be or whether it should be something in particular. One correspondent wrote to the paper yesterday saying what I think: poetry is what the poet wants it to be. And this poem is testimony to that. Many thanks.

Greetings from London.

Manuela said...

Such a powerful poem, I felt like I was slipping with her inside the lioness's pain - fantastic image to go with it. Thanks!

Jeanne said...

Fabulous

Lisa Allender said...

hi there. I LOVE your blog.Will add you (if that's okay?)to my list of Poets, Bloggers, and others", as soon as I return home(I'm on vacation now) thanks for stopping in at:
www.lisananetteallender.blogspot.com
Peace,

Glennis said...

WOW! Wonderful picture goes so well with the poem.

rosemary said...

Just wanted to say thank you SO MUCH for the kind comment you left on my last post. It really encouraged me. I am believing that, as you said, our Button does feel us.

Tessa said...

Wonderful imagery - both the poetry and the photograph. Thank you so much for sharing both, Yoli.

Nyla said...

Gorgeous poem. Perfect image.