"Words Ring With Music Beyond Their Sound"

Sharon H. Nelson

This poem appears in Grasping Men's Metaphors. The title line is from Glen Siebrasse's jerusalem.

"since poetry is, first, the experience of love" is from the dedication of Glen Siebrasse's man:unman, Montreal: Delta Canada, 1968.

"Words Ring With Music Beyond Their Sound"

since poetry is, first, the experience of love,

Glen Siebrasse

Words ring with music beyond their sound.
Your love was too gentle for a man to speak.
The world, too brutish for love which so abounds,
Mistook that gentleness for something weak.
Your tongue, that flowered among cold rocks and rain,
Probed the tenderest places. It could bring
Pleasure in craft out of your craft of pain.
Your song was too gentle for a man to sing.
Mute pain has ground your tongue to crystal shards
And stopped your mouth with moss,
And bruised your lips too much for further speech:
I count and tally this, a shaming loss.
Your song was too loving for a man to sing.
We hear an awful silencing.

Sharon H. Nelson. 15 March 1999.