Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Lorelei, 1887, Oil, Johann Koler

It is no night to drown in: 
A full moon, river lapsing 
Black beneath bland mirror-sheen, 

The blue water-mists dropping 
Scrim after scrim like fishnets 
Though fishermen are sleeping, 

The massive castle turrets 
Doubling themselves in a glass 
All stillness. Yet these shapes float 

Up toward me, troubling the face 
Of quiet. From the nadir 
They rise, their limbs ponderous 

With richness, hair heavier 
Than sculptured marble. They sing 
Of a world more full and clear 

Than can be. Sisters, your song 
Bears a burden too weighty 
For the whorled ear's listening 

Here, in a well-steered country, 
Under a balanced ruler. 
Deranging by harmony 

Beyond the mundane order, 
Your voices lay siege. You lodge 
On the pitched reefs of nightmare, 

Promising sure harborage; 
By day, descant from borders 
Of hebetude, from the ledge 

Also of high windows. Worse 
Even than your maddening 
Song, your silence. At the source 

Of your ice-hearted calling -- 
Drunkenness of the great depths. 
O river, I see drifting 

Deep in your flux of silver 
Those great goddesses of peace. 
Stone, stone, ferry me down there.

A Mermaid, J. W. Waterhouse, Oil on Canvas, 1900, Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK

~ Sylvia Plath


  1. Lovely once again and so fitting on an evening when the moon is full. I have just come back from a walk in the the woods here in Ireland. The woodland and little stream were totally lit up by the moon and the shadows of the trees made for some beautiful art work on the forest floor.

    1. Oh I am so envious! I do hope that in my lifetime I reach Ireland and Germany to the Lorelei Rock on the Seine. I am so glad you had a lovely walk in the moonlight!