May Sarton

MAY SARTON

The Cosset Lamb by May Sarton (plus earlier drafts)

*Editor's Note: We publish here this poem which originally appeared in Cream City Review and The Silence Now (W.W. Norton, 1988. May Sarton), along with three work sheets of the poem to give a glimpse of the "game" or manipulation of the "craft aspect" of writing poetry as Ms. Sarton has called it. What they cannot show is the "holiness" of the experience that precedes the writing. Weber Studies thanks the publisher, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., for permission to print this poem in full. )

I met the cosset lamb
Carried in human arms
Because, dog-mauled,
Her mother would not nurse her
And baas in desolation
Along the fence.
I met the lamb and was
Stunned by this innocence.
What is there whiter?
Not milk or even bloodroot.
What is there softer?
Not even a fresh snow.
What is there sweeter
Than horizontal ears
And strange blank eyes?
There came a poignant calm,
Then that faint baa
That lingers on . . .
I knew I was
In Paradise.
For all that is so dear
And may be mauled,
For terror and despair
And for help near,
I weep, I am undone.
For all that can be healed,
The cosset lamb you hold,
And what cannot be healed,
The mother in the field,
I pray now I'm alone.

Originally published in Cream City Review. Excerpted from The Silence Now by May Saron, May Sarton. We print it with the permission of the publisher, W.W. Norton, Inc.

The Cosset Lamb (2)



I met the cosset lamb
Carried in human arms
Because, dog-mauled,
/----------- would ( ), her
Her mother would not nurse her,
^
And baas her desolation
Along the fence.
/-- and was
I met the healed lamb
^
Stunned by its innocence.
What is there whiter?
Not milk or even bloodroot.
What is there softer?
/--------- a fresh
Not even velvet snow.
^
What is there sweeter
Than horizontal ears
And wide blank eyes?
There came a poignant calm,
Then the faint baa
That lingers on. .
I knew I was in Paradise.
For all that is so dear
And will be mauled,
For terror and despair
And for help near
I weep, I am undone.
For all that can be healed,
The cosset lamb you hold,
And cannot be healed,
The mother in the field,
I pray now I'm alone.



No. 2

The Cosset Lamb

I met the cosset lamb
Carried in human arms
Because, dog-mauled,
/------------- would (delete) , her Her mother would not nurse her,
^
And baas her desolation
Along the fence.
/-- and was
I met the healed lamb
^
Stunned by its innocence.
What is ther whiter?
Not milk or even bloodroot.
What is there softer?
/--------- a fresh
Not even velvet snow.
^
What is there sweeter
Than horizontal ears
And wide blank eyes?
There came a poignant calm,
Then the faint baa
That lingers on. .
I knew I was in Paradise.
For all that is so dear
And will be mauled,
For terror and despair
And for help near
I weep,I am undone.
For all that can be healed,
/----------------------- e
The cosst lamb you hold,
/-^----------------- n
And ca not be healed,
^
The mother in the field,
I pray now I'm alone.

Source: http://weberstudies.weber.edu/archive/archive%20A%20%20Vol.%201-10.3/Vol.%209.2/9.2Sarton%20Poetry.htm