Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sunday Poetry - D H Lawrence

I've been reading Janet Morley's anthology of poetry for Lent, The Heart's Time. One poem a day with an analysis of the poem & some thoughts about the relevance of the piece for meditation during Lent. I'm not a religious person but I'm enjoying reading my one poem a day, reading the analysis & then reading the poem again. I first read about Janet Morley in this review on Vulpes Libris about her anthology for Advent, Haphazard by Starlight. I love reading poetry & I like the idea of taking the time to read one poem a day. The Lent anthology includes poems by many of my favourite poets - Herbert, Christina Rossetti, Blake, Dickinson - along with others I've never read before like U A Fanthorpe & Kei Miller.

This poem, Pax, is by D H Lawrence. I vaguely knew that Lawrence wrote poetry but I don't remember ever reading any. The image of the sleeping cat drew me to this poem immediately, I love the image of contemplative rest & calm, the repetitions of the words peace, sleeping, yawning. This time of year, the beginning of autumn, is one of my favourites seasons. I feel contented, looking forward to autumn & winter. The image of a sleeping cat makes me think of safety; a cat never fully abandons itself to sleep unless it feels safe. On Friday night I had Lucky & Phoebe both asleep on my lap (it was a very tight squeeze), Brahms' Violin Concerto on the radio & it was very peaceful, even though I couldn't move an inch.

All that matters is to be at one with the living God
To be a creature in the house of the God of Life.

Like a cat asleep on a chair
at peace, in peace
and at one with the master of the house, with the
at home, at home in the house of the living,
sleeping on the hearth, and yawning before the fire.

Sleeping on the hearth of the living world,
yawning at home before the fire of life
feeling the presence of the living God
like a great reassurance
a deep calm in the heart
a presence
as of a master sitting at the board
in his own and greater being,
in the house of lif


  1. This sounds just my sort of anthology, Lyn. I wish more people knew about Lawrence's poetry; he is usually judged solely on his fiction and that gives a very one-sided view of the man.

    By the way, the post before last on my blog featured another of his poems, Beautiful Old Age, if you want to hop over and read it! Thanks for sharing Pax.

    1. It's been a long time since I read anything by Lawrence but I enjoyed this poem & Beautiful Old Age as well. Thanks for posting it.

  2. I knew Lawrence was a poet and have read and enjoyed some of his poems but I'd never read this one - it's lovely. Thanks for sharing it. So strange to think of you looking forward to autumn when we are longing for the spring to finally take hold! Harriet (can't seem to log in to comment!)

    1. I think we're having our last little gasp of summer. The sky was red this morning & a cool change is predicted for this afternoon then the next week will be cool. The clocks go back at Easter, then autumn has really begun.

  3. I love Lawrence's prose, but it's been years since I read his poetry. Thank you for this gorgeous poem.