The Rings of Saturn

Your eyes have changed—
I can see the blue,
as if you’ve opened up to the view.
And if that feels strange,
well, it’s true: you’re created
from fragments of shattered moons . . .

Trust yourself
to do what you do—
the Golden Age is
within us too.

Return from whence you came;
the Great Year comes round again.

Swallow your dark thoughts—
you know they are your children—
and watch them grow into better, not bitter things.
And if that feels strange,
well, it’s true: you’ve created
a world from your shuttered dreams.

Trust yourself . . .

Key—A lyric written to commemorate my fortieth year, when I first noticed that my eyes had developed a blue ring around the iris.

Saturn, a.k.a. Cronus (Father Time), ate his children to stop them from usurping his power; I use the image to represent turning one’s dark fears/desires to the “good.” His was the Golden Age of Greece. I associate his reign with the return of the Great Year (the 40,000 year cosmic cycle) and Alexander Cockburn’s idea that each of us bears a Golden Age within us, for me that being represented by my recognition that it’s our evils that make us who we are—just as we are made of star-stuff transmuted.

The Rings of Saturn (Die Ringe des Saturn: Eine Englische Wallfahrt) is, of course, a W. G. Sebald memorial history (1995; London: Harvill Press, 1998).


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