Wednesday, 13 July 2011

The triumph of life - a poem by Marjorie Pizer

The Triumph of Life
I am emerging from an ocean of grief,
From the sorrow of many deaths,
From the inevitability of tragedy,
From the losing of love,
From the terrible triumph of destruction.
I am seeing the living that is to be lived,
The laughter that is to be laughed,
The joy that is to be enjoyed,
The loving that is to be accomplished.
I am learning at last
The tremendous triumph of life.

Marjorie Pizer

This is one of the poems in a book called Ths too will pass which I bought in Jamaica. It's the sort of book I rather depise normally, beige tinted photos, meaningful quotes, Hallmark style homilies, a feminine rather than a feminist kind of book. Yet it has been good for me to be tempted out of my inherent snobbishness into buying this. I knew nothing of Marjorie Pizer from Australia and her poetry, or political engagement. She sounds like my kind of person.
Sometimes it's good to listen to voice of intuition and just buy what the heart says you should go with, in the end this was not a tawdry book, quite the reverse for someone wrestling with the real perils of depression like I have been. Even if I felt pathetic crying over some of the more home-spun quotes.

Reading this made me realise that yes I have been dealing with this kind of grief ... and of course what I have been confronting has been nothing like grief at all - apart from to me. As my dear friend Nyambura said to me "Nobody died ... and even if they had we believe that is not the end." It has been terribly hard for me to piece my way back to resurrection again. Perhaps I am getting there, slowly but I hope surely ...

The Triumph of life is the title of a much longer and earlier poem written by Shelley shortly before his death. It remains unfinished. Just that fact speaks to me, but also the wonderous idea that the triumph of life comes back to inspire poets across the generations. May it also finally call me away from my tears, for no one has died and even had they, then I believe that is not the end.
This too will pass ...