Saturday, March 8, 2014

Parta Quies

Someone I care for deeply has suddenly passed away, at far too young an age.  I haven't the heart today for anything but this poem, which is all I can grasp onto at the moment for some small, passing comfort.  I will return when I am able.

            Parta Quies

Good-night; ensured release,
Imperishable peace,
     Have these for yours,
While sea abides, and land,
And earth's foundations stand,
     And heaven endures.

When earth's foundations flee,
Nor sky nor land nor sea
     At all is found,
Content you, let them burn:
It is not your concern;
     Sleep on, sleep sound.

A. E. Housman, More Poems (1936).

Eliot Hodgkin, "Feathers and Hyacinth Heads" (1962)


Sam Vega said...

I'm very sorry to hear this. I'm sending you my very best wishes and hopes that you will be comforted.

alice c said...

Dear Mr Pentz,
I am so sorry for your loss. I wish you courage in your grief and comfort from your memories. Your writing has been a constant source of inspiration for all your readers and so today you are in the thoughts of many friends that you do not know.

Julie Whitmore Pottery said...

Dear Stephen,
There is not much comfort to give when the end comes too soon.
I do understand and have been grieving for a friend who left here as well , a wonderful and treasured person. Many condolences and may the good memories carry you through this.

Dartford Warbler said...

I am so sorry for your loss. The Houseman poem is beautiful and so appropriate.

littlemancat said...

Sending you sympathetic thoughts. And a thank you for the lovely poem.

Acornmoon said...

I am so sorry to read this, my heart goes out to you.

Esther said...

"Out of the darkness
Onto a darker way
Shine bright
Shine distant
Moon at the mountain's edge"

Kaga no Chiyo
Translated by my late friend, Jack Stamm

Stephen Pentz said...

Sam Vega, alice c, Julie, Dartford Warbler, Mary, acornmoon, Esther: I cannot adequately express my gratitude for your kind and comforting words. I am blessed to have you here, and I will never forget your kindness. Your thoughts are helping me through a difficult time, and I cannot thank you enough.

Ron Ireland said...

Mr. Pentz, I am sorry for your loss.

Anonymous said...


What is there to say to another who has suffered a great loss? Nothing I suppose, but the human in us urges us to gesture to the bereaved, for it is by such rituals and rites we endure the ineluctable suffering life imposes on us. I've always found solace in this poem by George Santayana. I hope in this moment of your great darkness it provides the hope for a glimmer of light, the rebirth of gratitude, no matter the anguish now, of the presence of such person into your life.

With you a part of me hath passed away;
For in the peopled forest of my mind
A tree made leafless by this wintry wind
Shall never don again its green array.
Chapel and fireside, country road and bay,
Have something of their friendliness resigned;
Another, if I would, I could not find,
And I am grown much older in a day.
But yet I treasure in my memory
Your gift of charity, your mellow ease,
And the dear honour of your amity;
For these once mine, my life is rich with these.
And I scarce know which part may greater be,—
What I keep of you, or you rob of me.

Anonymous said...


When a friend says farewell to a much loved one, it becomes our privilege to sit silently with you and, in the reverence of that silence, hold loving space for you, for just as long as you both shall need


Stephen Pentz said...

Billy Budd, Anonymous, and midi: I am deeply grateful for your thoughtfulness and your kindness. Your thoughts and words and presence are a great help at this time. Thank you -- I will always remember.

Anonymous said...

Through your blog I have found comfort and consolation which I would return to you ten-fold if I could.

Failing that, I send my condolences and my assurance that

Through your blog you have brought me many happy moments and so I am sad that you have had to suffer this loss'

Be comforted by the many sincere condolences (including mine) that will come your way.

We hold you close.

Stephen Pentz said...

Anonymous: I am at a loss to find the right words to thank you for your kindness. Your thoughts are beautiful and comforting. I cannot thank you enough.

Eamonn said...

Dear Stephen,

I'm so sorry to hear your news. That is a terrible blow.

You are in my thoughts, and clearly, the thoughts and hearts of many of your readers. Strangers perhaps, but kindred spirits who have been nourished and sustained through your precious project here.



Clarissa Aykroyd said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your loss - thanks for continuing to share wonderful poems and art with us.

Stephen Pentz said...

Eamonn: It's always nice to hear from you, and especially so at this time. You are right -- I am fortunate and blessed to find such kindness and support from such a lovely group of people. And, as you say, I do feel that we are in some way kindred spirits, though we have never met in person.

Thank you very much for your thoughts.

Stephen Pentz said...

Clarissa: thank you very much for your kind thoughts and words. You have been coming here for a long time, and your presence here at this time is a comfort. Thank you.

John Ashton said...

Mr Pentz, apologies to be responding so late to this post, I have been away on holiday and only returned last night. There was'nt any internet connection where I was staying. I should just like to add my deepest condolences to the many others here, and I hope they have provided you with some comfort. You are in my thoughts at this time.

Stephen Pentz said...

Mr Ashton: thank you very much for your thoughts, which I greatly appreciate, and which are indeed a comfort. As ever, I greatly value your presence here, especially at this time.