Appearing in ‘Songs of the River’ ‘The Fall’ is another classic wander through some of Seranoga’s favourite territory: water and time. The religious hints can hardly be missed, not least in the title (which also has a watery allusion). More intriguing is the mention of the corvid stone which has sometimes been interpreted as the Bible (owing to the last verse), however other scholars identify it with certain very old obscure texts from South America that Seranoga was known to have been interested in. The connection in the second verse between ravine and raven seems clear; it seems this must link somehow to the stone of the penultimate verse.

The Fall

The candid hope of lofty spires,
This path winds oddly steep,
But a glamour soon has held me,
Am I so long asleep?

The bouldered ways are stirring,
With mist and ‘tween time shade,
The ravine is long cawing,
Was I so long ago made?

The river flows in florid spirals,
The ne’re return so long,
The horse wind speaks in whispers,
How lingers still this song?

I find that there’s clipped and loathsome hints,
Of something I once knew,
I sought for a stone that hid beneath boughs,
Of bold and corvid hue,

And on this tablet long described,
How clambering from the pit,
Is the blessing and the curse entwined,
For which ‘mankind is fit.

Written later on in his life, ‘Underground’ represents Seranoga’s gloomy outlook upon his existence in Europe in the mid-twentieth century. His fading (already curious) Catholicism is no doubt a factor in the unrelenting misery of the work.


Down, down, down underground where the goblins live below, in the glow, of their cavernous ancient woe.
Drown, drown, drown in the well where you fell, you can tell to the last, life so fast now has all by past.
Die, die, die as you cry, asking ‘why?’ No you’ll never understand what was planned, not by human hands,

There’s never been a reason to knock upon the door,
There’s never been a season to live a little more more more…

Choke, choke, choke on a rope, no you didn’t break your neck, as you dangle twitch and strangle in a dark stair well,
Scream, scream, scream from the stream as the nixies drag you under, and you wonder, what these daughters or the water have in store for thee.
Flee, flee, flee from the spirits of the wood if you can, no too late, no escape now they’ve sealed your fate.

There’s never been reason to get up off the floor,
And God is out of season, so bang upon the door, door door…

Dance, dance, dance, look askance no you haven’t got a chance of romance, cold hard eyes turn and look away.
Moan, moan, moan, to the stones in the twilight turn and groan, floating things to you sing, on the night time’s wings.
Stare, stare, stare at the moon in her witching eldritch glare, shadows passed, have amassed, now for you they grasp.

There’s never been a reason to live a little more,
And God is out is of season so lie upon the stone cold floor…

Concept of Eggs
Seranoga (trans 1974 from Collected Rhymes)

Into the cold flat
Wandered the stranger
Distant from me
And yet still filled with hunger

Contemplates dinner
Penultimate meal
Fried imperfection
The unholy round

And as the liquids boiling sear
He thinks of protein filled with fear
The lies of man behind the box
The slice of death that darkness locks

Alien blackness
Potential nothing
Hopeful of life
Yet so sinful the supping

Feed me on high
Lest I  fall from the sky
I have no bite left…
Only my bark

And as you fry without a care
I  wasn’t really anywhere
The name of God is oh so flat
Behind these lines that I am trapped