Monday, November 23, 2009

Henri Cole: To Sleep

This weekend my sister, some friends, and I discussed what a shame it is that we didn't appreciate naps when we had them. Isn't that just the way it goes? As Joni would say: you don't know what you've got 'till it's gone. Just think what you would give now for an hour a day when you're not allowed to do anything but rest, recharge, and maybe sneak a book under the covers.

Then I came across this poem by Henri Cole. What a lovely description of those moments just before sleep.

To Sleep
by Henri Cole

Then out of the darkness leapt a bare hand
that stroked my brow, "Come along, child;
stretch out your feet under the blanket.
Darkness will give you back, unremembering.
Do not be afraid." So I put down my book
and pushed like a finger through sheer silk,
the autobiographical part of me, the am,
snatched up to a different place, where I was
no longer my body but something more—
the compulsive, disorderly parts of me
in a state of equalization, everything sliding off:
war, love, suicide, poverty—as the rebellious,
mortal, I, I, I lay, like a beetle irrigating a rose,
my red thoughts in a red shade all I was.

Photo by Joi.

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