The liquid slowing of the sleeper, turning inward and looking downward
Sharon Kingston, With a Heavy Grace (in process), 24 x 24 inches, oil on canvas
In preparation for my exploration of the 50 north latitude locations, I’ve been seeking out Canadian poets. So in love with Dark Pines Under Water, by Gwendolyn MacEwen. It will take many readings and contemplation, but my initial response is one of reverence for the rich way in which the poet wrapped the inexplicable in nature’s metaphors. The liquid slowing of the sleeper, turning inward and looking downward, anticipating a knowing and understanding, but not.
Dark Pines Under Water
This land like a mirror turns you inward And you become a forest in a furtive lake; The dark pines of your mind reach downward, You dream in the green of your time, Your memory is a row of sinking pines.
Explorer, you tell yourself this is not what you came for Although it is good here, and green; You had meant to move with a kind of largeness, You had planned a heavy grace, an anguished dream.
But the dark pines of your mind dip deeper
And you are sinking, sinking, sleeper
In an elementary world;
There is something down there and you want it told.
— “Dark Pines Under Water,” The Shadow Maker (1972)
So much here for me to work with, I feel that this poem can be attended to again and again. What a wonderful discovery.