An interesting piece from Samuel Beckett, which I include here, even though it seems that Beckett considered it to be a short story, not a poem. However, to me it reads like a poem, having many poetic qualities of allusiveness, rhythm, linguistic economy, and a presentation on the page like verse. The piece was also used as a libretto for an opera by one Morton Feldman, so this is truly a genre-crossing piece.
to and fro in shadow from inner to outer shadow
from impenetrable self to impenetrable unself
by way of neither
as between two lit refuges whose doors once
neared gently close, once away turned from
gently part again
beckoned back and forth and turned away
heedless of the way, intent on the one gleam
or the other
unheard footfalls only sound
till at last halt for good, absent for good
from self and other
then no sound
then gently light unfading on that unheeded
The poem/story seems to describe movement, without a source or beginning and without an object or outcome. Neither one thing nor another in fact, but that doesn’t matter, the movement is enough to deliver its own justification.
I think readers will grapple with this and come up with their own meaning or interpretation, or not as the case may be. Or just enjoy the juxtaposition of words and sounds on their own merit.
As a bonus I offer up one of my favourite Beckett quotes: “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”
The Poetry Dude