The Dreamer

As I climbed up
it reminded me of Basel,
where the market is down below,

and you have to go through the Tottengsschen
to the plateau above and so to the Petersplatz
and the Peterskirche –

My dream took me to this dirty sooty city
in 1927.
It was night, and winter, and dark, and raining.
The city looked the way I felt.

I came to a broad ill-lit square,
into which many streets converged.
The various quarters of the city were arranged

radially around this,
and in the centre of the square was a round pool,
and in the middle of the pool, a small island.

Everything around was obscured by rain,
fog, smoke and shadow,
but the little island blazed with sunlight.

On it was a single magnolia tree,
a shower of reddish blossoms.

The tree stood in the sunlight
yet was also the very source of light.

Despite the abominable weather,
and the ugly greyish-yellow raincoats glistening with rain
everyone wore in this opaque city,

I was carried away by the unearthly beauty
of the tree on the sunlit island,
my despair slipped from me like a shed skin,
I knew
the round pool was the pool of life -

Live, Herr Doktor, Live!

Also, says George to Carl,
it’s a great place to wash your hair,
wash your hair in the good soft water of Liverpool.)

* I am indebted to an article by Paul Farley for reminding me
of Jung’s dream of Liverpool, and to Carl Gustav Jung’s
account of his famous dream in his book
Memories, Dreams and Reflections.

By Penelope Shuttle