poppyromanov (poppyromanov) wrote,

A Picture of Otto

You stand there at the blackboard: Lutheran
Minister manqué. Your idea
Of Heaven and Earth and Hell radically
Modified by the honey-bee's commune.

A big shock for so much of your Prussian backbone
As can be conjured into poetry
To find yourself so tangled with me -
Rising from your coffin, a big shock

To meet me face to face in the dark adit
Where I have come looking for your daughter.
You had assumed this tunnel your family vault.
I never dreamed, how occult our guilt,

Your ghost inseparable from my shadow
As long as your daughter's words can stir a candle.
She could hardly tell us apart in the end.
Your portrait, here, could be my son's portrait.

I understand - you never could have released her.
I was a whole myth too late to replace you.
This underworld, my friend, is her heart's home.
Inseparable, here we must remain,

Everything forgiven and in common -
Not that I see her behind you, where I face you,
But like Owen, after his dark poem,
Under the battle, in the catacomb,

Sleeping with his German as if alone.
Tags: poetry, ted hughes

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