Wednesday 8 December 2010

This blog is nat dood - only resting (while I write the PC book/let)


Our Bog is Dood

Our Bog is dood, our Bog is dood,
They lisped in accents mild,
But when I asked them to explain
They grew a little wild.
How do you know your Bog is dood
My darling little child?

We know because we wish it so
That is enough, they cried,
And straight within each infant eye
Stood up the flame of pride,
And if you do not think it so
You shall be crucified.

Then tell me, darling little ones,
What's dood, suppose Bog is?
Just what we think, the answer came,
Just what we think it is.
They bowed their heads. Our Bog is ours
And we are wholly his.

But when they raised them up again
They had forgotten me
Each one upon each other glared
In pride and misery
For what was dood, and what their Bog
They never could agree.

Oh sweet it was to leave them then,
And sweeter not to see,
And sweetest of all to walk alone
Beside the encroaching sea,
The sea that soon should drown them all,
That never yet drowned me.

Stevie Smith (1902-1971)



Anonymous said...

A remarkable poem. Thanks for sharing it. (Bog, of course, is the Russian for "God," and dood is surely meant to evoke both "good" and "dead.")

Bruce Charlton said...

Steve Smith was indeed a remarkable writer - completely unlike anyone else.

It is well worth buying her complete poems to keep and browse; and also reading through/ skimming her 'novels' - which don't work as novels, and indeed are pretty incomprehensible, but have a peculiar and interesting atmosphere. Her drawings, to illustrate poems, seem incompetent yet are haunting and complement the verse.

Along with Emily Dickinson, Stevie Smith is one of two woman poets that I regard as real poets (since I cannot read ancient Greek to evaluate Sappho). Both were semi-crazy and unmarried - which may be significant.

dearieme said...

What about the Sonnets from the Portugese lass?

Bruce Charlton said...