Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Gilgamesh On Grief

The following is about the grief of Gilgamesh after the death of his friend Enkidu in the ancient poem Gilgamesh—  

All that is left to one who grieves

Is convalescence. No change of heart or spiritual

Conversion, for the heart has changed

And the soul has been converted

To a thing that sees

How much it costs to lose a friend it loved.

It has grown past conversion to a world

Few enter without tasting loss

In which one spends a long time waiting

For something to move one to proceed.

It is that inner atmosphere that has

An unfamiliar gravity or none at all

Where words are flung out in the air but stay

Motionless without an answer,

Hovering about one’s lips

Or arguing back to haunt

The memory with what one failed to say,

Until one learns the acceptance of the silence

Amidst the new debris

Or turns again to grief

As the only source of privacy,

Alone with someone loved.

It could go for years and years,

And has, for centuries,

For being human holds a special grief

Of privacy within the universe

That yearns and waits to be untouched

By someone who can take away

The memory of death.

August 22, 2008 Posted by | Books, Poetry | , , , , , | 1 Comment