ruth miller – it is better to be together (1965)

It is better to be
Together. Tossed together
In a white wave, than to see
The ocean like an eagle.

It is better to lie
In the stormy seething
Than to judge the weather
In an eagle’s eye.

Cold is the bird
Who flies too far
In the clear vision
Which saints and eagles share:
Their faraway eyes are bitter
With darkened prayer.

O, it is better to try
WIth the white wave, together
To overturn the sky.

It is better to be together.

__

From Floating Island, 1965.

Ruth Miller was a South African poet, born in 1919 in Uitenhage. She grew up in the northern Transvaal and spent her adult life in Johannesburg, working as a school secretary and later an English teacher. The accidental home death by electrocution of her son, aged 14, clouded the last six months of her life; she produced nothing for some time, and subsequently wrote some of her finest work. She died of cancer in 1969. More HERE.

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