Regret

AH, Circe, Circe! in the wood we cried;
Ah, Circe, Circe! but no voice replied;
No voice from bowers o’ergrown and ruinous
As fallen rocks upon the mountain side.

There was no sound of singing in the air;
Failed or fled the maidens that were fair,
No more for sorrow or joy were seen of us,
No light of laughing eyes, or floating hair.

The perfume, and the music, and the flame
Had passed away; the memory of shame
Alone abode, and stings of faint desire,
And pulses of vague quiet went and came.

Ah, Circe! in thy sad changed fairy place,
Our dead Youth came and looked on us a space,
With drooping wings, and eyes of faded fire,
And wasted hair about a weary face.

Why had we ever sought the magic isle
That seemed so happy in the days erewhile?
Why did we ever leave it, where we met
A world of happy wonders in one smile?

Back to the westward and the waning light
We turned, we fled; the solitude of night
Was better than the infinite regret,
In fallen places of our dead delight.

Source: http://www.online-literature.com/andrew_lang/grass-of-parnassus/21/

Short Goodbyes

 

The Short goodbye (by Steve Almond, in “This won’t take but a minute, honey”)

“…This was the summer of my eighth year, spent a cabin with my grandparents, both of whom I loved more than I would allow. My grandpa and her raspy laugh, her green crochet needless knit together under the lamp, like tiny axes whet and whet. My grandpa leaning over the checkerboard with his beautiful crooked teeth. They were burdened people contented by simple pleasures. I should have kissed each of them more than I did. We waste so much of our hearts. Only the dying keep a full account. In their moment of passing, the exact amount is revealed on our tongues, which turn black with regret.”

The Short goodbye (by myself, using Steve Almond’s words; this took more than twenty years…)

This was the last summer I spent with my grandmother, “whom I loved more than I would allow”. “Her raspy laugh, her green crochet needless knit together under the lamp, like tiny axes whet and whet”. My grandpa had passed away a long time ago. “They were burdened people contented by simple pleasures. I should have kissed each of them more than I did. We waste so much of our hearts. Only the dying keep a full account. In their moment of passing, the exact amount is revealed on our tongues, which turn black with regret”.

ps/ I do not read modern literature often. But I saw this book with short stories in one direction (that, yes take less than a minute to read…) and short essays on writing (that you find by flipping the book over), and thought “this ought to be interesting…”.

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