|My mantelpiece in October|
The gentians on the card remind me of that remarkable, mysterious and unforgettable poem by D H Lawrence:
Not every man has gentians in his house
in soft September, at slow, sad Michaelmas.
Bavarian gentians, big and dark, only dark
darkening the daytime, torch-like, with the smoking blueness of
ribbed and torch-like, with their blaze of darkness
spread blue down flattening into points, flattened under
the sweep of white day torch-flower of the blue-smoking darkness,
Pluto's dark-blue daze,black lamps from the halls of Dis,
burning dark blue, giving off darkness, blue darkness,
as Demeter's pale lamps give off light,
lead me then, lead the way.
Reach me a gentian, give me a torch!
let me guide myself with the blue, forked torch
of this flower down the darker and darker stairs,
where blue is darkened on blueness even where
Persephone goes, just now, from the frosted September
to the sightless realm where darkness is awake
upon the dark and Persephone herself is but a voice
or a darkness invisible enfolded in the deeper dark
of the arms Plutonic, and pierced with the passion
of dense gloom,among the splendour of torches of
darkness, shedding darkness on
the lost bride and her groom.