Thursday, December 31, 2009

Light and fissures: a continuing series

Mercian Hymns XVI
Geoffrey Hill

Clash of salutation. As keels thrust into shingle. Ambassadors, pilgrims. What is carried over? The Frankish gift, two-edged, regaled with slaughter.

The sword is in the king’s hands; the crux a craftsman’s triumph. Metal effusing its own fragrance, a variety of balm. And other miracles, other exchanges.

Shafts from the winter sun homing upon earth’s rim. Christ’s mass: in the thick of a snowy forest the flickering evergreen fissured with light.

Attributes assumed, retribution entertained. What is borne amongst them? Too much or too little. Indulgences of bartered acclaim; an expenditure, a hissing. Wine, urine and ashes.


See also here and here.

PS The Swedish for butter is "smör" (as in smorgasbord) which is pronounced vaguely like smear and is, of course, etymologically related.

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