I am making a point of reading poets I am unfamiliar with, and wanted to share this poem by American poet Hilda Doolittle.‘Sometimes and After’
Yet sometimes I would sweep the floor,
I would put daises in a tumbler,
I would have long dreams before, long day-dreams after;
there would be no gauntleted knock on the door,
or tap-tap with a riding crop,
no galloping here and back;
but the latch would softly lift,
would softly fall,
dusk would come slowly,
and even dusk could wait
till night encompassed us;
dawn would come gracious, not too soon,
day would come late,
and the next day and the next,
while I found pansies to take the place of daisies,
and a spray of apple-blossom after that,
no calendar of fevered hours,
Carthago delenda est and the Tyrian night.
Doolitte died in 1961. I love the transitory passing of time in this poem. And no, I didn’t understand the last line. Google Translate tells me ‘Carthago delenda est’ means ‘Carthage is destroyed’ in Latin, which I didn’t study at school. ‘Tyrian night’ still mystifies me, can anyone else help?
For more about Hilda Doolittle at the Poetry Foundation website, click here.
‘Collected Poems’ by Hilda Doolittle [New Directions]
And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
A #poem to read in the bath: ‘Sometimes and After’ by Hilda Doolittle http://wp.me/p5gEM4-1yt via @SandraDanby