Edwin Morgan - Desire

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Edwin Morgan reads his poem Desire

by Edwin Morgan (1920-2010)

It is a power, it is a mystery, it is a fate,
but above all it is a power.
The jaws of Venus will not let go their prey.
Hour after hour
They sink deeper, and the victim even smiles
to see the spreading flower
Of blood, as it springs from those scary
threshings of life. Don't cower,
Don't wince! It's only a nightmare, it's only
a movie, it's only imaginary Phaedra shrieking
from her tower.
'Only, only' you cry?
What do you want to deny?
Are you trying to tell us all these flecks of
blood are not from something struggling to
be born? You think it's like the passing
sting of some damned April shower?