Thursday, April 2, 2009


I was looking at a few websites for Metempsychosis and found a great one with a poem and music:

Following is the poem "Metempsychosis" by Jane Hirshfield:

Some stories last many centuries,
others only a moment.
All alter over that lifetime like beach-glass,
grow distant and more beautiful with salt.

Yet even today, to look at a tree
and ask the story, Who are you? is to be transformed.

There is a stage in us where each being, each thing is a mirror.

Then the bees of self pour from the hive-door,
ravenous to enter the sweetness of flowering nettles and thistle.

Next comes the ringing a stone or violin or empty bucket
gives off-
the immeasurable's continuous singing,
before it goes back into story and feeling.

In Borneo, there are palm trees that walk on their high roots.
Slowly, with effort, they lift one leg then another.

I would like to join that stilted transmigration,
to feel my own skin vertical as theirs:
an ant-road, a highway for beetles.

I would like not minding, whatever travels my heart.
To follow it all the way into leaf-form, bark-furl, root-touch,
and then keep walking unimaginably further.

As I was reading the poem I could picture Ovid in Imaginary Life as he laid on the ground, and was feeling part of the earth, ready to embrace the next step, his peacefulness and acceptance of the process. He didn't call to the Child as he was collecting food for them, he felt no need to have someone with him. I think the Child will return to Ovid is and understand.

It's much easier to end the day with these thoughts, rather than the tragedy of Trojan Women.

1 comment:

  1. Debra,
    That's a beautiful poem. You're right,the poem can be refered to Ovid in the Imaginary Life.I enjoyed your reflection at the end.