To a Persian Rug

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
I have oft considered this rug before,
Waiting in dim light for confession
Still, inert, spread upon the floor
And yet not devoid of expression
Though I think it is knit with flowers
In these late, half-dreamed hours
My mind's eye begins a digression
And sees instead the elements' powers.

Lilies with the face of a sleeping child
A star that is perhaps a Nasturtium;
On a field of deep blue it is styled
Seraphs like eyes on the face of heaven
The border of red, whose tangled crown
Morning glory--? The vine is grown
Around in eddies and twists uneven
Where four rivers of paradise had flown;

My drooping reverie goes deeper still
The eye sees itself in this arrangement
Shapes of terror, or unknown good will
Of heaven's or earth's estrangement;
Though some find such objects to be a bore
Lying still as a corpse on this wooden floor
Its life coheres with the mind's engagement--
Yes, I have considered this rug before.


  1. Careful there. It sounds like you are making an iconic representation out of something deliberately invented to avoid doing so.

    1. "She knew nothing of the world except the tomb in which she dwelt, and had some pleasure in everything she did. But she desired, nevertheless, something more or different. She did not know what it was, and the nearest she could come to expressing it to herself was–that she wanted more room. Watho and Falca would go from her beyond the shine of the lamp, and come again; therefore surely there must be more room somewhere. As often as she was left alone, she would fall to poring over the coloured bas-reliefs on the walls. These were intended to represent various of the powers of Nature under allegorical similitudes, and as nothing can be made that does not belong to the general scheme, she could not fail at least to imagine a flicker of relationship between some of them, and thus a shadow of the reality of things found its way to her."

      - George MacDonald, The History of Photogen and Nycteris


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