Sunday, April 22

on dreams

And there is the dream of the pond, the only significant dream that originates in childhood, and also the only one that recurs from one year to another without the slightest change. And there is the dream of love, which it is pointless to burden with commentary since the only profound exegetes that this feeling has stirred until now are the organ and violoncello. These various dreams do not proceed, moreover, without concluding mutual alliances: the dreams of ambition, of love and death are frequently set within cathedrals, and the dream of the pond is also a dream of sacred terror. And there is the dream of melancholy happiness, recognizable in that it always unfolds beneath a certain rose sky, and the dream of absolute bliss, which I have dreamed but once, and where nothing transpires apart from an unforgettable blue color.

. . . The sleeper assembles images the way the poet assembles words: he makes use of them more or less felicitously to speak about himself to himself. Just as there are mutes, there are sleepers who do not dream; others dream badly, tritely, or by fits and starts: there are stuttering and verbose dreamers. Others, among whom it would be sheer ingratitude on my part not to count myself, sometimes receive the benefice of a beautiful dream, like those sorry poets whom chance occasionally grants the windfall of a verse that astonishes even them. Finally, there are perhaps sleepers of genius who dream with sublimity every night. If only we had at our disposal collections, museums of dreams, we could doubtlessly authenticate the existence of a Delacroix, a Leonardo da Vinci, or Watteau of the world of closed eyes.

-- Marguerite Yourcenar Dreams and Destinies
Translated by Donald Flanell Friedman

Marguerite Yourcenar