7/10/10

God Speed and Bon Voyage, Alan Sullivan

Ask not, Leuconoe—we cannot know—
what waits for you or me before we go.
Cast no Chaldean horoscopes, my love,
but take whatever comes. The will of Jove
may grant us more winters or just this one
which now dashes the gray Tyrrhenean
to weariness against our Tuscan cliff.
Wiser to pour the wine: our life is brief
and while we speak the moment flits away.
Place no faith in the future. Seize the day.

Horace, Odes 1:11, trans Sullivan/Murphy


--

Alan Sullivan, naturalist, literary critic, poet, novelist, co-translator of Beowulf and the Psalms, seeker of the seas and the mountains, pilgrim of the word and the soul, lover of knowledge and wonder, died yesterday. The natural world and the literary world are poorer for his passing. Alan was a fierce critic and a surprising advocate of my work many years ago when I was an active workshopper. His influence on my work remains. I shall miss his unique voice, his passionate views, and his many paradoxes. Strength and courage to his long time partner, Timothy Murphy.

Divide and Conquer

The cells divide. The cells that will not die
divide too well and so they multiply.
They kill the host to keep themselves alive.

The blood goes bad. In vain physicians try
to purge the veins with drugs the cells defy.
The cells divide. The cells that will not die

mutate anew. The hardy few survive.
The few recruit the many teeming by.
They kill the host to keep themselves alive.

They colonize the nodes from neck to thigh.
The tumors grow, and scanners never lie.
The cells divide. The cells that will not die

stifle the very organs where they thrive.
Blind, stupid things—their purpose gone awry—
they kill the host to keep themselves alive.

Exploding through the flesh, they multiply,
but immortality eludes them. Why?
The cells divide. The cells that will not die
kill the host to keep themselves alive.

- Alan Sullivan


http://www.ablemuse.com/v6/interview/alan-sullivan


http://www.seablogger.com/