Page 1 of 1

"Souls" by Dannie Abse

Posted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 9:43 pm
by nekot
1640, from L. anthologia, from Gk. anthologia "flower-gathering," from anthos "a flower" (see anther) + logia "collection, collecting," from legein "gather" (see lecture). Modern sense (which emerged in Late Gk.) is metaphoric, "flowers" of verse, small poems by various writers gathered together.

An anthology is a collection of writings, usually revolving around a theme, by different authors or the same author. I found the etymology of anthology quite beautiful. Hmmm....thinking about it, Poetry Pages is like a garden. :grin:

During my tenure as poet laureate, I'd like to feature poems by people from different cultures, faiths, beliefs. How far I'll get is yet to be seen. :wink: I'll do my best to dig out the context in which the poems were written.

Scroll down to read "Souls" by Dannie Abse. Enjoy!!



Back to index:
Gathering of Flowers Index

Re: "Souls" by Dannie Abse

Posted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 10:11 pm
by nekot
"....born to Jewish parents in Cardiff, Wales, on September 22, 1923.....Abse's Jewish heritage, his Roman Catholic education, and his practice as a physician have helped to shape his individual sensibility....Abse's concern for social issues has continued throughout his life."
Read more here: Dannie Abse

In a 2002 interview Dannie Abse stated: I like to think I’m a poet and Medicine my serious hobby.

by Dannie Abse


"After the last breath, eyelids must be closed
quickly. For eyes are windows of the soul
--that shy thing which is immortal. And none
should see its exit vulnerably exposed,"

proclaimed the bearded man on Yom Kippur.
Grownups believed in the soul. Otherwise
why did grandfather murmur the morning prayer,
"Lord, the soul Thou hast given me is pure"?

Near the kitchen door where they notched my height
a mirror hung. There I saw the big eyes
of a boy. I could not picture the soul
immaterial and immortal. A cone of light?

Those two black zeros the soul's windows? Daft!
Later, at medical school, I learnt of
the pineal gland, its size a cherrystone,
vestige of the third eye, and laughed.

But seven colors hide in light's disguise
and the blue sky's black. No wonder Egyptians
once believed, in their metamorphosis,
souls soared, became visible: butterflies.

Now old, I'm credulous. Superstition clings.
After the melting eyes and devastation
of Hiroshima, they say butterflies, crazed,
flew about, fluttering soundless things.