Monday, August 24

Often, our experience of beauty will be the first hint of what each of us at some point will dare call our soul. For don’t those first stirrings of that eternally uncertain, barely grasped notion of something more than mere mind, mere thought, mere emotion, usually first come to us in the line of a poem, a passage of music, of the unreal yet more-than-real image in a painting?

-- C.K. Williams, in "All Around the World the Same Song" Poetry March 2009

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Friday, August 14

forests of symbols

La Nature est un temple où de vivants piliers
Laissent parfois sortir de confuses paroles;
L’homme y passe à travers des forêts de symboles
Qui l’observent avec des regards familiers.

Nature is a temple whose living pillars
Sometimes give forth a babel of words;
Man wends his way through forests of symbols
Which look at him with their familiar glances.

Comme de longs échos qui de loin se confondent
Dans une ténébreuse et profonde unité,
Vaste comme la nuit et comme la clarté,
Les parfums, les couleurs et les sons se répondent.

As long-resounding echoes from afar
Are mingling in a deep, dark unity,
Vast as the night or as the orb of day,
Perfumes, colors, and sounds commingle.

-- Charles Baudelaire, lines from "Correspondances"
Tr. Harry Zohn