Poem VAR #365

Dare you see a soul at the white heat?
then crouch behind the door
red is the fire’s common tint
but when the vivid ore
has sated flame’s conditions
its quivering substance plays
without a color but the light of unanointed blaze

Least village boasts its blacksmith
whose anvil’s even din
stands symbol for the finer forge
that soundless tugs within
refining these impatient ores
with hammer and with blaze
until the designated light
repudiate the forge


HWL's Comment

Date of writing: 1979

Subject: We could set the symbolism aside in this poem and take it free of express sexual content. It would still present a woman in the anger of frustrated desire. But we are enjoined to be sincere and explicit. It appears that a consequence of the three-partite orgies and the subsequent departure and neglect of her of the two other lovers, Sam and Kate, she experienced whiplashes of unrequited sexual desire that came near to be nymphomania. Of this state the poem 365 gives unabashed expression. the “unanointed blaze” could go for frustration in heterosexual inter course, but it is the deprivation of Kate that brought the nymphomania out. She gives here a first hint of a theme that reoccurs later on: that the agony of privation led to that absolute numbness in which pain ceased being pain and requitement of the sexual desire became meaningless, so that she learned to do without. Of course, this stage too was a fleeting one, as, by its nature, it always must be.