The Song of the Lark
between sky and earth,
implanted in the solidness of the ground
which cannot betray her step.
The earth is firm, solid, stable.
It responds predictably to her care,
varying only according to
the vagaries of weather, crop disease, insects,
The slightest of breezes causes her to pause.
She looks up,
and hears that piercing tune,
Sick for home,
her sad heart pains,
with delight and melancholy and sehnsucht and yearning
to capture that bird,
and hear it always.
its plaintive anthem would fade.
Safe and shut off,
that wild beauty tamed
would lose its immortality.
uncircumscribed from human confines,
can that voice be uttered
because it cannot be captured
because it is ephemeral
because the memory of it
like the field she stands rooted in.
She -- grounded in the earth,
attuned to heaven --
seems more real, more substantial
Am I just a dream,
a trick of the light
you see out of the corner of your eye?
A floater which sometimes crosses your vision
forcing you to perceive it until
it breaks up and, dissolving, enters your body?
Could I be like her?
Let me stay grounded.
Or else that piercing voice,
opening magic casements,
will cause me to rise,
into the air.
Can you hear it—that song?
Do you sense it—my voice?
Are you pulling me back to earth?
Or are you floating up
Susan Signe Morrison
Read Susan's essay on Ernst Barlach's sculpture here.
Writing on topics lurking in the margins of history, novelist and medievalist Susan Signe Morrison is University Distinguished Professor of English at Texas State University. She has published poetry in Mothering, Presence, The Ekphrastic Review, ISLE (Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment), and Taj Mahal Review.
The Ekphrastic Review
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