Theory of Tragedy by Julia Rose Lewis
“Hegel on sacrifice. The animal dies. The man becomes alert.” — Anne Carson
A forest is a clock
that counts by hundreds
of years instead of seconds.
More than centuries
a forest tells us a story
of the seasons and precipitation.
The beast controlled
the rainfall on his own lands,
think of that forest.
The trees retelling the story,
the study of his moods
and stewardship over the forest.
Trees can be read before they are paper.
What was lost when the beast transformed into a young man?
the ability to control the weather,
the rain, the forest. He left
behind the roses, worms, and sunlight for humanity.
The beast lost his virginity.
Le petit mort, it made him travel back
in time. It undid the beastly things
old age does to our bodies.
The beast turned into Beauty,
but his wisdom was laid waste.
Julia Rose Lewis is poet-in-residence of the Archeology Department at University of Wales Trinity St David. She lives on Nantucket Island and is a member of the Moors Poetry Collective. Her poems have appeared in their anthologies, Firefly, 3am Magazine, and Backlash.