Louise Bogan - nothing will ever stir

Louise Bogan

I found this poem today by Louise Bogan called Medusa. It took a couple of reads to for me to work out just what was going on. Sometimes a poem speaks to a part you, beyond understanding. But it seems the speaker of the poem, steps into a clearing and sees a house. All things are ready to happen – a bell is about to strike, the rain is about to fall. The speaker sees, in the doorway, the Medusa, with her hair full of snakes. The legend is, that if you look into the eyes of the Medusa you are turned to stone. The Medusa becomes the paralysing event. All things stop and everything is frozen and the speaker cannot lift her eyes from the ground. Even the rain is suspended in the air. Love Susie x


I had come to the house, in a cave of trees,
Facing a sheer sky.
Everything moved,—a bell hung ready to strike,
Sun and reflection wheeled by.

When the bare eyes were before me
And the hissing hair,
Held up at a window, seen through a door.
The stiff bald eyes, the serpents on the forehead
Formed in the air.

This is a dead scene forever now.
Nothing will ever stir.
The end will never brighten it more than this,
Nor the rain blur.

The water will always fall, and will not fall,
And the tipped bell make no sound.
The grass will always be growing for hay
Deep on the ground.

And I shall stand here like a shadow
Under the great balanced day,
My eyes on the yellow dust, that was lifting in the wind,
And does not drift away.