ECHOES FOR JOHN HOLLANDER
There are things death can't take – the song of birds
whose notes cut short continue. Always born.
Passion's blood rose with danger as its thorn.
Millennia wear brass: we hand on words
like runners in a race against the years.
They change remain the same grow richer still
each time they change their tongue. Somehow we fill
meaning so full of echo that our tears
our loves remain when eyes and heart are gone
to dust. And cuckoos call their double note
the same, and there's that tightness in our throat,
ache in our head that Sappho knew. All one.
Master, you told us this. Your thoughts were sound.
We hear you still, a voice from under ground.