by D.H. Lawrence
Come up, and be called a moon.
The mosquitoes are biting to-night
Memories, northern memories,
Bitter-stinging white world that bore us
Subsiding into this night.
Call it moonrise
This red anathema?
Rise, thou red thing,
Unfold slowly upwards, blood-dark;
Burst the night's membrane of tranquil stars
The red Macula.
I had to look up "maculate," which turns out to be a verb. So the final two lines can be translated as, more or less, "blot out the red blot." I'm not sure what Lawrence means here. Is he asking the moon to blot out some other red blot? If so, what blot, the blot of "northern memories"? Or is he asking for some other force to blot out the red moon? No, I think it's the former: the red moon is to blot out the memories. I assume "northern" here means "English," and "southern" means "Italian," as Lawrence wrote this poem in Sicily. This is one of the less Whitman-inspired poems in Birds, Beasts and Flowers. By "less Whitman-inspired," I guess I mean that it's a little more self controlled, less rambling. Shorter, certainly.