Eurydice, Eurydice

Following up on the various Orphic threads spooled out in previous post... here's another passage from the opening chapter.  You see how the local Rhody statuary & memorabilia are bumping up against another dimension, "vaguely realizing westward"...


Shakespeare's Head is the headwaters now
of the Providence Preservation Society. 
Here lawyers, newsmen, literati
swirled, 200 years ago.

A century before and two steps down the hill
old Williams called them out beside the riverbank
and there they convenanted – what to think
and what to speak not to be enforced by rule.

Up the slope and facing the art school
under the constant spray of a water slide 
stone Hermes, Orpheus, Eurydice, all stand 
motionless beneath the fountain's endless fall.


The land, the land stretched out toward sundown.
At the end of the forests without end, the sun gleamed.
Magnitudes undreamt
by Greeks, the dry flute flown

into moist green, light fern-green 
ghosts in the trees.
I'm driving the empty roads
in early May, at dawn.

Someone cries out Eurydice, Eurydice 
into ramshackle and forlorn wastelands. 
Blind joyful grief behind the railroad lines. 
All gone to seed.  Oh say can you see.

Orpheus Ascending, by Gilbert Franklin, 1963

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