Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE BIRTH OF VENUS, by HAYDEN CARRUTH

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE BIRTH OF VENUS, by                 Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: Surely we knew our darkling shore
Last Line: Your powers, one will be carruth
Subject(s): Birth; Mythology - Classical; Venus (goddess); Child Birth; Midwifery

Surely we knew our darkling shore.
None doubted that continual roar
Of gray waves seething, cold and huge,
None misconceived that beach, those reeds
Wreathed in the dark, dead, dripping weeds.
No fiction there, no subterfuge.

Came she then, borne from such sea-bed?
We think so. Clouds in violent red
Shone on her warmly, flank and breast,
And some remember how the foam
Swirled at her ankles. Other some
Look shrewd and smile behind the rest.

She gave us beauty where our eyes
Had seen need only. We grew wise,
For how could wisdom fail the gift
Bestowed in that superb undress,
Value devised as loveliness
From ocean's riches, ocean's thrift?

But, Love, then must it be the sea
That makes you credible? Must we
Bear all to one phenomenon?
True, certainty is our seacoast,
The landmark of the clearly lost
Whose gathering waves drive on and on.

Great queen, an ignorant poet's heart
Is all his faith, yet still his art
Can prick your source to tell the truth.
So teach him, lady. Then always
Among the people here who praise
Your powers, one will be Carruth.

Used with the permission of Copper Canyon Press, P.O. Box 271, Port Townsend, WA
98368-0271, www.cc.press.org

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