Friday, October 30
. . . how hard
it is, to apprehend something so large
in scale and yet so minutely detailed.
Like trying to familiarize yourself,
exactly, with the side of a mountain:
this birch, this rock-pool, this square mosaic
yard of tesserated leaves, autumnal,
a jeweled reliquary. Trying to see
each element of the mountain and then
through them, the whole, since music is only
given to us in time, each phrase parcelled
out, in time.
-- Mark Doty, lines from "Grosse Fuge" Atlantis
Posted by rb at 10/30/2009
Saturday, October 17
How to reach into your innermost fragility? Screens drop down very
quickly Inside there is a glimpse of a swallow's wing
I follow the eye of pain, straight into pain's crystal
I shall approach the colorlessness of nothing, its color
I shall do so with joy, as if approaching
your face I saw you move, saw the grace of your body
You're illuminated from within The movements of your limbs
You're about to explain something that deeply moves you, that makes
use of your love
I look at you from the far side of everything Even from there
I can walk
What is it that shall break through the first integration?
The face has no end We move toward the face of infinity
The face bears its deep transparency, its pulsating resistance,
until we both come, arriving in a single cry . . .
-- Göran Sonnevi, from Mozart's Third Brain
Tr. Rika Lesser
More from Mozart's Third Brain (link)
Posted by rb at 10/17/2009
Thursday, October 15
Underneath the water, or inside it, is a dark grey flame:
I have seen it over and over, the same sea, the same,
slightly, indifferently swinging above the stones,
icily free above the stones,
above the stones and then the world.
If you should dip your hand in,
you wrist would ache immediately,
your bones would begin to ache and your hand would burn
as if the water were a transmutation of fire
that feeds on stones and burns with a dark gray flame.
-- Elizabeth Bishop, lines from "At the Fishhouses"
At the Fishhouses (poem and commentary by George Szirtes) (link)
Posted by rb at 10/15/2009
Wednesday, October 7
The wrong of unshapely things is a wrong too great to be told;
I hunger to build them anew and sit on a green knoll apart,
With the earth and the sky and the water, remade, like a casket of gold
For my dreams of your image that blossoms a rose in the deeps of my heart.
-- W.B. Yeats, lines from "The Lover Tells of the Rose in His Heart"
Posted by rb at 10/07/2009