Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I looked at that face, dumbfounded. The lights of métro stations flew by; I didn't notice them. What can be done, if our sight lacks absolute power to devour objects ecstatically, in an instant, leaving nothing more than the void of an ideal form, a sign like a hieroglyph simplified from the drawing of an animal or bird? A slightly snub nose, a high brow with sleekly brushed-back hair, the line of the chin - but why isn't the power of sight absolute? - and in a whiteness tinged with pink two sculpted holes, containing a dark, lustrous lava. To absorb that face but to have it simultaneously against the background of all spring boughs, walls, waves, in its weeping, its laughter, moving it back fifteen years, or ahead thirty. To have. It is not even a desire. Like a butterfly, a fish, the stem of a plant, only more mysterious. And so it befell me that after so many attempts at naming the world, I am able only to repeat, harping on one string, the highest, the unique avowal beyond which no power can attain: I am, she is. Shout, blow the trumpets, make thousands-strong marches, leap, rend your clothing, repeating only: is!

She got out at Raspail. I was left behind with the immensity of existing things. A sponge, suffering because it cannot saturate itself; a river, suffering because reflections of clouds and trees are not clouds and trees.


  1. Ani, let me answer your text from Milosz's poem To Autumn by John Keats

    Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness

    Close bosom-friend of the Maturing Sun
    Conspiring with him how to load and bless
    With fruit the vines That round the thatch-eaves run;
    To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
    And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
    To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
    With a sweet kernel, to September budding more,
    And still more, Later flowers for the bees,
    Until They think warm days will never Cease,
    For Summer has o'er-brimm'd Their clammy cells.

    Who hath seen thee oft AMID Not thy store?

    Sometimes whoever Seeks find abroad May
    Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
    Thy hair soft-Lifted by the winnowing wind;
    Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
    Drows'd with the smoke of poppies, while thy hook
    Spares the next swath and all STIs twine flowers:
    And Sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
    Steady thy laden head across a brook;
    Or by a cider-press, with patient look,
    Thou oozings watchest the last hours by hours.

    Where are the songs of Spring? Oh, where are They?

    Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,-
    While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
    And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
    Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
    Among the river sallows, borne aloft
    Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
    And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
    Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
    The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
    And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

  2. Thank you Jose, that was very beautiful. John Keats is a master of poetic romanticism!!!!!!!!!