Poem 100

A poem infused with longing, having itself a dreamlike quality as it speaks of dreams. It has a heart achingly beautiful quality. The extravagance of the imagery makes it perhaps seem like wish fulfilment but its underlying realism is that for now the poet has to, at the end, restrict his praises to the unbridgeable chasm itself.

Oh, for that grand day of days when I leave the dark sea of illusion behind me
And stand on the shore gazing at the face of my Beloved till his beauty shall blind me.

I will call softly to him with sweet noises of delight,
For with the call of his Word he called to me in my night —

We notice how the Word takes him beyond his own words. The poem continues with a description of a process rather than an accomplishment

Awakening me from deep sleep into my present dreaming,
Drawing me, through dreams, towards the Isness of being beyond seeming.

The dream can only point towards something beyond image and concept:

God is the beautiful beloved, beyond comparison,
The shoreless ocean of truth which has no beckoning horizon.

Perhaps this is an implicit seeing of the limits of the ‘beckoning’ in the poem. ‘Horizon’, italicized for emphasis, here means a bounding limit. Anyway, who can resist engaging with the beckoning in the unforgettable next verse?

He will come up with me from the waters when I emerge
And untie from my ankles the white fingers of sea-surge.

But no childish dependence or indulgent clinging allowed here and the dreams of responsibility in the last two verses are just as beguiling:

But He will turn his back on me if I cry to be carried across the void
Saying: That’s your affair, find your own transport, I am otherwise employed.

So I will praise the chasm’s beauty; and maybe two mist-drops will glow on the face of His bliss
And fill the chasm for my crossing (when he whims it) to the Is of His kiss.

The very unreality of these last images adds to the pathos and to the transporting quality of the poem as a whole.