Sunday, December 27, 2009

Louis MacNeice - Prayer Before Birth

Prayer Before Birth
I am not yet born; O hear me.
Let not the bloodsucking bat or the rat or the stoat or the
club-footed ghoul come near me.

I am not yet born, console me.
I fear that the human race may with tall walls wall me,
with strong drugs dope me, with wise lies lure me,
on black racks rack me, in blood-baths roll me.

I am not yet born; provide me
With water to dandle me, grass to grow for me, trees to talk
to me, sky to sing to me, birds and a white light
in the back of my mind to guide me.

I am not yet born; forgive me
For the sins that in me the world shall commit, my words
when they speak me, my thoughts when they think me,
my treason engendered by traitors beyond me,
my life when they murder by means of my
hands, my death when they live me.

I am not yet born; rehearse me
In the parts I must play and the cues I must take when
old men lecture me, bureaucrats hector me, mountains
frown at me, lovers laugh at me, the white
waves call me to folly and the desert calls
me to doom and the beggar refuses
my gift and my children curse me.

I am not yet born; O hear me,
Let not the man who is beast or who thinks he is God
come near me.

I am not yet born; O fill me
With strength against those who would freeze my
humanity, would dragoon me into a lethal automaton,
would make me a cog in a machine, a thing with
one face, a thing, and against all those
who would dissipate my entirety, would
blow me like thistledown hither and
thither or hither and thither
like water held in the
hands would spill me.

Let them not make me a stone and let them not spill me.
Otherwise kill me

Louis MacNeice

.

6 comments:

  1. Eerie but beautiful. Actually I don't really know how to comment on this one. We would want to stay positive on all fronts.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the comment OG ...

    Yes, it is a strange but compelling poem ... perhaps it reflects the silent plea we wish for our offspring ...

    ... there is one positive verse:


    I am not yet born; provide me
    With water to dandle me, grass to grow for me, trees to talk
    to me, sky to sing to me, birds and a white light
    in the back of my mind to guide me.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for the visit and comment Jane - now I'm able to visit your blog too ...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for your comment AP - yes, I'm not really into poetry but this one grabbed me ...

    ReplyDelete