Here is a hauntigly beautiful poem, a despairing cry in the wilderness of a forlorn soul, craving for succour and solace but finding none, from the mighty yew tree standing deaf and mute under the beguiling blue glow of a domineering moon,
The Moon And The Yew Tree
This is the light of the mind, cold and planetary
The trees of the mind are black. The light is blue.
The grasses unload their griefs on my feet as if I were God
Prickling my ankles and murmuring of their humility
Fumy, spiritous mists inhabit this place.
Separated from my house by a row of headstones.
I simply cannot see where there is to get to.
The moon is no door. It is a face in its own right,
White as a knuckle and terribly upset.
It drags the sea after it like a dark crime; it is quiet
With the O-gape of complete despair. I live here.
Twice on Sunday, the bells startle the sky —-
Eight great tongues affirming the Resurrection
At the end, they soberly bong out their names.
The yew tree points up, it has a Gothic shape.
The eyes lift after it and find the moon.
The moon is my mother. She is not sweet like Mary.
Her blue garments unloose small bats and owls.
How I would like to believe in tenderness —-
The face of the effigy, gentled by candles,
Bending, on me in particular, its mild eyes.
I have fallen a long way. Clouds are flowering
Blue and mystical over the face of the stars
Inside the church, the saints will all be blue,
Floating on their delicate feet over the cold pews,
Their hands and faces stiff with holiness.
The moon sees nothing of this. She is bald and wild.
And the message of the yew tree is blackness — blackness and
Here is what I have gleaned from the somewhat obscure and opaque, but poignant imagery..I hope I have got it right.
The first line of the poem differentiates the cold, calculating (‘light of the mind’, the effect of the moon’s glow on the minds of the susceptible and weak) fickle, blue,planetary light of the moon, from the warm bright and life-sustaining bright, direct ( inherent , not reflected) light of the sun.
The trees of the mind are dark, tinted a sinister blue, by the eerie planetary glow..
The grasses under the feet are apprehensive . Their hopes for the future seem bleak, over-shadowed by the dark canopy. They welcome contact with the soft feet of the author and unburden their fears and seek solace futilely from the author, herself beset by the disturbing spirits that abound around the headstones that block her from her cosy home, leaving her clueless as to her destination.
The moon captivates her, there is no escape from its despairing, bewitching, ensnaring glow, it drags even the mighty, roaring deep along.
Great tongues singing in unison with the tolling bells affirm of Resurrection, but the author is still full of misgivings. The bewildered author looks up in vain to the yew tree towering over her, like. a cathedral for hope,but the mighty tree itself cowers helplessly under the baneful eye of the galling moon,letting detestable bats, owls and hobgoblins loose in the disturbed mind of the poor author. The blue, glowing tenderness of the gaunt effigy seems unreal, ethereal, contrived, There is nowhere for the author to go, except sinking deeper into the abyss she has fallen into. Even the twinkling stars that beckoned her are overshadowed by the domineering blue glow.
The stiff automatons that are ensconced within the confines of the sacred precincts, are no better than the wild moon and the silent giant, the yew tree They gloat and float around within the cocoon of religion. They do not offer any. way out either.