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The Other Journey

The Other Journey: Poems New and Selected

KATHERINE GARRISON CHAPIN
Copyright Date: 1959
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 108
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5749/j.cttts7xx
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  • Book Info
    The Other Journey
    Book Description:

    The Other Journey: Poems New and Selected was first published in 1959. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions. The title poem of Katherine Garrison Chapin’s collection conveys the quality of this volume of lyrics which have appeared in magazines in the last fifteen years, and a selection from her three earlier books now out of print. The Other Journey suggests the duality of experience – an outward journey in space and inward journey of the mind. Included is a brief essay on the poetic image, and there are three translations, poems by Paul Claudel, Gabriela Mistral, and Rafael Alberti. Some of these poems have appeared in Harpers, New Republic, Nation, Saturday Review, American Scholar, Poetry, Contemporary Poetry, Voices, Ladies Home Journal, Prairie Schooner, and Botteghe Oscure. Miss Chapin’s earlier volumes of poetry are Outside of the World, Time Has No Shadow, and Plain Chant for America.

    eISBN: 978-1-4529-3762-5
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-v)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vi-viii)
  3. Late Song
    (pp. 1-16)

    The decisive year went by

    With a hoarse sound on the wind.

    There were many died,

    Many lost were not found.

    Storms curved from the south

    Tore and ravished the north;

    From martial shore to sea

    Many said goodbye.

    Out of the sack of years,

    From dry love and dead

    Comes fresh love to flower

    In a paradoxical now.

    Proof against wayward days,

    Meteored nights and the moon,

    Dry gusts and shallow waters

    This unpredictable bloom.

    Fronds are stripped from the fern

    The rose is a rusty bead,

    We warm our hands at a leaf

    Before cold fog blows in....

  4. The Other Journey
    (pp. 17-30)

    Where are you, birds, that last I saw swinging

    Above the wake of the long ship that bore me home

    Between the western straits? Awake or dreaming

    Did I see you? Birds whose shadows

    Were not of that sea, or its red mountains:

    Rook of the poet’s high tower who, at sunset,

    Circled under and over the metallic hour

    Of the bells; black raven of Eleusis, darker

    Against storm clouds than the lost mysteries;

    And white ibis, goddess with pointed head

    Lifting long thin feet from waters of the Nile.

    What footsteps do you follow?

    What pattern

    Weave in the...

  5. Landscapes and Figures
    (pp. 31-72)

    By a stream once sacred to the Nymphs, under a mountain-stronghold of the Cyclops, at the edge of the Pontine Marshes lie the ruins of the medieval city of Ninfa. Today the marshes are drained, the land redeemed and the castle made livable.

    Standing breast-high in asphodel, among rushes,

    To what could I lift my eyes that was not a dream?

    All day the petals drifted on the stream,

    The castle clung to the rocky ledge of mountain.

    Wherever I walked a foot had been before me,

    There were voices under the spring, in the sacred grove.

    I heard the...

  6. This Lonely Light
    (pp. 73-82)

    Here are the wise men baffled, here is a mark

    Deeply made, cutting forever into the mind.

    The mind cannot escape it, where it stands stark,

    A word once spoken, a fervent message unsigned.

    Measure the sun, measure the track of stars,

    The seasons’ curve, line where summer light fell.

    Ponder these stones with their age-indelible scars,

    And learn no atom of all that this place can tell.

    But if you have faced the heavy weight of defeat,

    Bent down to the earth with sand and blood in your eyes,

    Or stood in the cleft where darkness and darkness meet,...

  7. Translations
    (pp. 83-90)

    You have come from very far, but what is distance to your blood which sings without boundary or frontier?

    Death is the country which claims you today and forever,

    fallen in the fields or cities, death claims you, fallen here.

    From one country and another, from the large one, from the small one,

    from one that hardly lends color to the map on the wall;

    talking together, simply and anonymously, you have come to join us,

    because our roots are in the same dream, because it has nourished us all.

    You do not even know the shape and color of...

  8. Note on the Poetic Image
    (pp. 91-98)

    Poetic use of words clears and purifies language by sifting from it the dross weight of ulterior motive. In a poem, words are put together to satisfy one of the deepest needs, the need to communicate an emotion, to share an imaginative experience, an experience which is too intense, too vivid to be expressed in the pedestrian feet of prose, too exciting to be explained, too illogical often to be reasoned about. It is an experience that simply must be felt. From this motivation only, by means of image, rhythm, and form the poet creates a presence in absence, as...