Wednesday, September 30
These are then two arts which enclose man in man; or, rather, which enclose the being in its work, and the soul in its acts and in the production of its acts, as our former body was entirely encased in the creations of its eye, and surrounded with sight. By means of two arts it wraps itself up, in two different ways, in their inner laws and wills, which are figured forth in one material or another, stone or air.
-- Paul Valéry Eupolinos
Tr. Denise Folliot
Posted by rb at 9/30/2009
Tuesday, September 29
Swimming through the oval, saucer-like reflections, dipping and flashing on the sea surface, one traced the colors back to the origins of those reflections. Some came directly from the sky and different colored clouds, some from the golden greens of the vegetation growing on the cliffs, some from the red-orange of the seaweed on the blues and violets of the adjacent rocks, and, all between, the actual hues of the water, according to its various depths and over what it was passing. The entire elusive, unstable, flicking complex subject to the changing qualities of the light itself . . . it was as though one was swimming through a diamond.
-- Bridget Riley The Eye's Mind
Bridget Riley (link)
Posted by rb at 9/29/2009
Sunday, September 20
How are you, Robert? BRIGHTER STILL EARTHBOUND
I ASK : NO ACCIDENT? & GET WHITE SOUND
A BLUR EACH MOMENT CLOSER TO SOME CLEAR
SONG OF BLISS : ONE OF THE MARVELS HERE.
ANOTHER IS TO TALK TO THAT WORD'S NAMESAKE.
Andrew? THE VERY SAME DO I CALL HIM ANDY?
I called you Andrew in "The Summer People".
AH THEN I CAN PRACTISE IN THE GLASS
What does he say in Heaven? Can you quote?
The cup, with a mimed clearing of its throat,
Enunciates : 'WHAT'S WRONG WITH EMPIRES PRAY?
GREATLY BENEFICIAL. FOR THE SUBJECTED,
DELICIOUS SUBJUGATION & FOR THE RULERS,
TERRIBLE FEARS OF LOSING, BALANCED BY
RARE OPPORTUNITIES FOR BEASTLINESS'
Anything about poetry? EVERYTHING!
I DRINK IT IN : 'THE LINE, MY DEAR NEW FRIEND,
THE LINE! LET IT RUN TAUT & FLEXIBLE
BETWEEN THE TWO POLES OF RHYTHM & RHYME,
& WHAT YOU HANG ON IT MAY BE AS DULL
OR AS PROVOCATIVE AS LAUNDRY.' How does
New work get round in Heaven? WE ADEPT READERS
MERELY CALL TO MIND THE MOLECULAR PAGE
PLUS A LIVING KNOWN OR UNKNOWN AUTHOR
& THINK 'NEW POEM PLEASE' & PRESTO ! EITHER
SOME SHAGGY DOGGEREL FROM THE COAST APPEARS
OR A SPARKLER FROM ACADEME. SAME PRINCIPLE
EXACTLY WHEREBY WE POP UP WITHIN YR
FIELD OF REFLECTION AS U THINK OF US
THEN FLASH BACK TO OUR BLIND WORK IN THE VOID
WHEN YR ATTENTION DIES
-- James Merrill, from The Changing Light at Sandover
About The Changing Light at Sandover (link)
Posted by rb at 9/20/2009
Wednesday, September 16
The great light cage has broken up in the air,
freeing, I think, about a million birds
whose wild ascending shadows will not be back,
and all the wires come falling down.
No cage, no frightening birds; the rain
is brightening now. The face is pale
that tried the puzzle of their prison
and solved it with an unexpected kiss,
whose freckled unsuspected hands alit.
-- Elizabeth Bishop
Posted by rb at 9/16/2009
Tuesday, September 15
And some time make the time to drive out west
Into County Clare, along the Flaggy Shore,
In September or October, when the wind
And the light are working off each other
So that the ocean on one side is wild
With foam and glitter, and inland among stones
The surface of a slate-grey lake is lit
By the earthed lightning of a flock of swans,
Their feathers roughed and ruffling, white on white,
Their fully grown headstrong-looking heads
Tucked or cresting or busy underwater.
Useless to think you'll park and capture it
More thoroughly. You are neither here nor there,
A hurry through which known and strange things pass
As big soft buffetings come at the car sideways
And catch the heart off guard and blow it open.
-- Seamus Heaney, from The Spirit Level
Posted by rb at 9/15/2009
Monday, September 7
Just once I knew what life was for.
In Boston, quite suddenly, I understood;
walked there along the Charles River,
watched the lights copying themselves,
all neoned and strobe-hearted, opening
their mouths as wide as opera singers;
counted the stars, my little campaigners,
my scar daisies, and knew that I walked my love
on the night green side of it and cried
my heart to the eastbound cars and cried
my heart to the westbound cars and took
my truth across a small humped bridge
and hurried my truth, the charm of it, home
and hoarded these constants into morning
only to find them gone.
-- Anne Sexton, from love poems
Posted by rb at 9/07/2009