Monday, March 29, 2010

The Raven Days

Been thinking about my writing ancestors. Yesterday, Meredith and I went to the Birthday Festivities for my (distant) cousin, Tennessee Williams (aka Thomas Lanier Williams). I got a very cute shirt and a tote bag with Tenn's face on it.

The whole thing was kind of...well... Labyrinth Theatre Company masturbating all over themselves: catering to celebrities and their own employees and lots of somber folks taking themselves way too seriously. Especially for a festival honoring Tenn, who was a rip-roaring flamboyant hilarious party animal.

But I started to think about genes and what's running through my blood. Certainly, a propensity for substance abuse and mental anguish. But also, writing. Writing and writing on all fronts. From Jessica Daves, to Tenn to this guy on the left. Also not such a shabby writer. Lots of poetry and love of language. So it feels good to know that I'm going to go around the world if I have to to join their company.

The Raven Days
Sidney Lanier

OUR hearths are gone out, and our hearts are broken,
And but the ghosts of homes to us remain,
And ghostly eyes and hollow sighs give token
From friend to friend of an unspoken pain.

O, Raven Days, dark Raven Days of sorrow,
Bring to us, in your whetted ivory beaks,
Some sign out of the far land of To-morrow,
Some strip of sea-green dawn, some orange streaks.

Ye float in dusky files, forever croaking--
Ye chill our manhood with your dreary shade.
Pale, in the dark, not even God invoking,
We lie in chains, too weak to be afraid.

O Raven Days, dark Raven Days of sorrow,
Will ever any warm light come again?
Will ever the lit mountains of To-morrow
Begin to gleam across the mournful plain?

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