Sunday, August 24, 2014

Poem of the Day: "Postlude" by William Carlos Williams, Poet of the Month

The Songs of Eretz Poem of the Day for August 23, 2014 is "Postlude" by William Carlos Williams, Poet of the Month.  The poem was taken from The Collected Poems of William Carlos Williams, Volume 1: 1909 - 1939.  The text of the poem, along with an audio recording by the poet of it, may be found here:  http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poem/1905.  A brief biography of Williams and references may be found here:  http://eretzsongs.blogspot.com/2014/08/the-songs-of-eretz-poet-of-month-for.html.

"Postlude" is a poem about love lost, as is obvious from the title as well as the opening line.  Today's readers should not be mislead by the use of "Lesbian" in the seventh line.  "Lesbian," with a capital "L," refers to the isle of Lesbos (pictured) near Turkey, not to a female homosexual.  Lesbos was the home of the poet Sappho http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poet/sappho.

As the final stanza reveals, the speaker, presumably the poet, is still haunted by dreams of his lost love.  The last line may refer to pent up sexual desire going unsatisfied, or perhaps to Jason and the Argonauts, depending upon how dirty one's mind is.

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