Saturday, April 6, 2019

Ursula LeGuin, "After the Death of Orpheus"

The rocks his song had moved, the wild
creatures that had gathered to him,
grieved as the echo of his song
followed the river into silence.

His shade stood awhile bewildered
at the shadowy door. At last
he went in and saw the downward way.
He had gone that way before
yet it could not be familiar.
Did he know the slight figure waiting
beside the pathway for him?

She turned and went ahead,
unspeaking. He followed her.
She did not turn around.
She led him down the vast descent
of twilight to the shore
where the old boatman waited,
received his payment,
and rowed them slowly over.

There was nothing to be said.

Under the weightless boat
the waters of shadow ran silent
towards the beginning of all music.

From So Far So Good: Final Poems, 2014-1018

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