Anna de Noailles

A poem by Roger Hunt Carroll to celebrate Anna de Noailles’ birthday


                                                              Anna de Noailles

                                                              15 novembre 1876


She has triumph enough of her own,

knowing now it’s only when she passes

the point of no return that she can sing

of an imagined returning to her past.


So many things slip beyond importance—

she lets them go, all of them, without catalogue

or droll recitation, in proper sequence or not:

making an inventory is not in her scheme.


It’s sufficient for her to recall her desire

as vividly cast in momentary memory

as it was in its first white heat;

that’s the heat she remembers most of all.


For her there are graceful trappings, stage sets,

fixed and appropriate for her scene—

flowers, yes, flowers she’ll always have

in terraced gardens stretching toward her lake.


She waves at them in their variegated display,

then turns to her desk to take her pen

in her powerful hand and scratch down

how night’s appearing just might shield day.


Roger Hunt Carroll

13 November 2012

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