Something I hope to do on this blog is to comment on poems I love. I’ll start with one that was just published on the Aesthetic Realism Online Library: Eli Siegel’s 1929 poem “This to Delia.”
It is musical, surprising, and so encouraging. The speaker asks the large universe to show a woman, Delia—who is symbolic, I think, of people anywhere and at any time—to see the outside world not as inimical, but as to-be-liked. Yes, it has obstacles, difficulties, things that can confuse us—storms, things that can come at us sharply—but these things are not against us just so. The poem has wild images, but its music is lush.
Here’s how it begins:
This to Delia
O mover of pillars whom the Greeks
Called their friend; O pounder of huge drums,
The rage in Africa; O maker of rivers noisy and wild—
Come to the languid Delia.
See that she sees skies as approachable;
Storms as friendly.
Let her see points as soft, soothing….