[ilds] Durrell and Gascoyne

James Gifford odos.fanourios at gmail.com
Tue Jun 17 15:44:50 PDT 2008

Hello all,

I promised to put my fingers to the keyboard soon in response to the 
promising postings on /Reflections on a Marine Venus/, but in the 
meantime after having just returned from Corfu and two splendid sessions 
as the Durrell School, I thought I would share this poem by David 
Gascoyne that quite literally fell into my lap today...



Viewed from Corfu
/To Lawrence Durrell/

Seen across leagues of amethystine calm,
Two facing foreheads, one afforested,
The other sparsely greened as with Greek-hay,
An isthmus vista in between them hazed
By distant fluorescent shimmering
Of drowsy blended colours in which soot
Suffuses violet, peach and ivory.
Far to the East, a tranquil smoulder veils
Some remote city old as Trebizond,
Sated with myth and stunned by history,
Where linger shades of despots, peasants, saints,
Lost in oblivion's drifting dust. The end
Of afternoon approaches, the tenth month
Is almost here, further to obumbrate
A land once white with dawn, the nearby shore
Of North Helladic rock, whose dwellers owe
Fealty alike to thoughts of men long dead.
Night hovers like the question haunting all
As to whether /aschatos/ has not come:
Unseen above hangs Saturn's fractured scythe.

Gascoyne, David. /Collected Poems 1988/. Oxford: OUP, 1988.

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