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The Moon & Sixpence
At such a sight As the moon at night So high, so bright My thoughts take flight The sheer delight Of its vibrant white Its pungent bite Some day might Emit its light End my plight Leaving me quite Without foresight Yet still contrite
All this I write So slight And yet So recondite
My life’s Sixpence I’ve almost spent It’s true I’m getting old And to my cost I’ve loved and lost My heady tale Is nearly told
For all my time The pain, the wine I’ve trod the edge
So they allege But despite the sorrow The joy and pain Nothing in vain
The theme has been I’ve lived my dream
NOTE: From ‘Wikipedia’, describing the derivation of the title for Somerset Maugham’s novel, ‘The Moon and Sixpence’, which is loosely based on the life of French artist, Paul Gauguin.
According to some sources, the title, the meaning of which is not explicitly revealed in the book, was taken from a review of Maugham’s novel Of Human Bondage in which the novel’s protagonist, Philip Carey, is described as “so busy yearning for the moon that he never saw the sixpence at his feet.” According to a 1956 letter from Maugham, “If you look on the ground in search of a sixpence, you don’t look up, and so miss the moon.” Maugham’s title echoes the description of Gauguin by his contemporary biographer, Meier-Graefe (1908): “He [Gauguin] may be charged with having always wanted something else.”
Nature’s steady hand Its season’s sure permanence Gives respite from doubt
As the dawn broke In the pregnant East And beams of burgeoning day Stretched across the yellowed sky The songbirds’ treetop threnody Broke into my dream
Sleep giving way And all too soon replaced In that initial gentle awareness Of life renewed once more Its promise and its worries Suddenly looming large Within my newly unlocked consciousness Potently recalling life’s commitments Compelling acknowledgement Of my obligations And accompanied by the knowledge Of decisions to be made Promises to be met Expectations to be fulfilled
Only the guarantee of Nature’s steady hand Of each day’s new dawn, Of the cycle of each recurring season Promising a prospect of its permanence Thus bestowing respite from our doubts
I think of my first love who escaped south and who now faces old age with a brightness far better than death’s impending despair.
My last love, All passion spent, Was of a quiet deep fulfilment of silent bliss engaging me while the blackbird for both of us now sings in the highest tree and, with a distant touch of the hands, a slower walk with the waves on that distant shore, bird and sea, my soul is fed, listening to their songs keeping at bay life’s end.
For now I dream converse, I listen to my memories, resisting that clouding of the vision which elapsed time brings.
I allow perception of days to come in which appreciative eye and halcyon heart will enable a new closeness, one of being together in harmony with both past and present, and the future becomes again brighter.