Two Poems

Anne Carson

Beckett’s Theory of Tragedy

Hegel on sacrifice. The animal dies. The man becomes alert.
What do we learn we learn to notice everything now.
We learn to say he is a hero let him do it.
O is shown moving to the window.
What a rustling what an evening. Oh little actor

(living moving mourning lamenting and howling incessantly)
time to fly back to where they keep your skin.
Frail was it.
Sound of oars drawing away from shore.
That tang of dogshit in darkness.
That’s your starry crown.
Off with his hood.

Beckett’s Theory of Comedy

Picking gooseberries, she said.
O is shown moving to the window.
Should traps be not available.
Or they kneel throughout the play.
That lifelong adorer!
Same old coat.
No verticals, all scattered and lying.
Tomorrow noon?
Goes back up the path, no sign of you.
[Pause.]