The Anathemata

Middle-sea and Lear-sea (continued)

If he leaves it to us

we’ll fix him dandy.

But tell him—with respects from me

tell him—tell the old Jason:

As sure as I was articled, had I the job of mortisin’ the beams to which was lashed and roved the Fault in all of us, I’ld take m’ time and set that aspen transoma square to the Rootless Tree

or dash m’ buttons!b

. . . he’s got

till the Day o’ Doom

to sail the bitter seas o’ the world!


David Jones notes

additional notes

a There is a tradition that the Cross (or at least its crosspiece) was made of willow. Aspen is near enough a willow.

b An old-fashioned version of ‘I’ll be damned!’ used by those who preferred not to utter profanities.


Rootless Tree’ is an expression used in the Old English poem The Dream of the Rood. ‘Day o’ Doom’ reminds us of the Dies Irae.

And so we say ‘adieu’ to the Flying Dutchman which (fittingly enough) is the last ship we shall encounter in our journey through The Anathemata.

semantic structures