Archive for January 29th, 2012

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Rites of Passage by Thom Gunn

Something is taking place.
Horns bud bright in my hair.
My feet are turning hoof.
And Father, see my face
― Skin that was damp and fair
Is barklike and, feel, rough.

See Greytop how I shine.
I rear, break loose, I neigh
Snuffing the air, and harden
Toward a completion, mine.
And next I make my way
Adventuring through your garden.

My play is earnest now.
I canter to and fro.
My blood, it is like light.
Behind an almond bough,
Horns gaudy with its snow,
I wait live, out of sight.

All planned before my birth
For you, Old Man, no other,
Whom your groin’s trembling warns.
I stamp upon the earth
A message to my mother.
And then I lower my horns.

From: Leeson, Edward (Ed), The New Golden Treasury of English Verse, 1980, Pan Books: London, p 491.

Date: 1971

By: Thom Gunn (1929-2004)