Life Within Its Snare

Faulkner
William Faulkner (1897 – 1962)

“I could just remember how my father used to say that the reason for living was to get ready to stay dead a long time.”

― William Faulkner in As I Lay Dying

Fifty Years

By William Faulkner

 

Her house is empty and her heart is old,
And filled with shades and echoes that deceive
No one save her, for still she tries to weave
With blind bent fingers, nets that cannot hold.
Once all men’s arms rose up to her, ‘tis told,
And hovered like white birds for her caress:
A crown she could have had to bind each tress
Of hair, and her sweet arms the Witches’ Gold.

Her mirrors know her witnesses, for there
She rose in dreams from other dreams that lent
Her softness as she stood, crowned with soft hair.
And with his bound heart and his young eyes bent
And blind, he feels her presence like shed scent,
Holding him body and life within its snare.


“I’m a failed poet. Maybe every novelist wants to write poetry first, finds he can’t, and then tries the short story, which is the most demanding form after poetry. And, failing at that, only then does he take up novel writing.”


Over the World’s Rim

by William Faulkner

Over the world’s rim, drawing bland November
Reluctant behind them, drawing the moons of cold:
What do their lonely voices wake to remember
In this dust ere ’twas flesh? what restless old

Dream a thousand years was safely sleeping 
Wakes my blood to sharp unease? what horn
Rings out to them? Was I free once, sweeping
Their Ewild and lonely skies ere I was born?

The hand that shaped my body, that gave me vision,
Made me a slave to clay for a fee of breath.
Sweep on, O wild and lonely: mine the derision,
Then the splendor and speed, the cleanness of death.

Over the world’s rim, out of some splendid noon,
Seeking some high desire, and not in vain,
They fill and empty the red and dying moon
And, crying, cross the rim of the world again.