Remnants of a Disinherited Race

Richard Halperin

George Eliot calls Silas Marner
and other weavers who carry their looms
on their backs the remnants of
a disinherited race. And so they are,
and so is she, and so are all artists
since the world began. Dim sighted.
Living in what light has never been
much help with. Blacked out from
consciousness, catalepsy or no,
and not remembering the nothingness.
(Is nothingness God?)  Creating, with
their hands, with their minds, what
no one can do better. Light bends, and so
do poems. I think of Siegfried Sassoon,
the sweetness of that gift. I think of
Lord Jim. I once said to a friend,
‘I’ve never told this to anyone, but I
identify with him when he jumps ship.’
The friend said, ‘Everybody does.’

Richard Halperin

Richard W. Halperin's poetry collections are published by Salmon/Cliffs of Moher (four) and by Lapwing/Belfast (sixteen). His work is part of University College Dublin's Irish Poetry Reading Archive. In 2023, Salmon will bring out a Selected and New volume, drawing upon all twenty books and including 25+ new poems.

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