Tuesday, March 07, 2006

"there is no such thing as a breakdown"

(ryan listening in ithaca/ 2005)



"to gentle, pleasant strains
just homely enough
to be beautiful
in the dark neighborhoods of my own sad youth
i fall in love. once
seven thousand feet over one green schoolboy summer
i dug two hundred graves,
laughing, 'Put away your books! Who shall speak of us
when we are gone? Let them wear scarves
in the once a day snow, crying in the kitchen
of my heart!' O my love, I will weep a less bitter truth,
till other times, making a minor repair,
a breath of cool rain in those streets
clinging together with slightly detached air."

Berrigan and Woolf:

(LXVI and "A Room of One's Own")

"it was summer. We were there. And THERE WAS NO
MONEY. you are like...
skyscrapers veering away
(Moreover, a book is not made of sentences laid end to end, but of sentences built, if an image helps, into arcades or domes)
a B-29 plunging to Ploesti
sailboat scudding thru quivering seas
trembling velvet red in the shimmering afternoon
darkness of sea
(The rooms differ so completely; they are calm or thunderous; open on to the sea, or, on the contrary, give on to a prison yard; are hung with washing; or alive with opals and silks; are hard as horsehair or soft as feathers)
The sea which is cool and green
The sea which is dark, cool, and green
I am closing my window. Tears silence the wind.
'they'll pick us off like sittin' ducks'
(At any rate, it is a structure leaving a shape on the mind's eye, built now in squares, now pagoda shaped, now throwing out wings and arcades, now solidly compact and domed like the Cathedral of Saint Sofia at Constantinople)
Sundown. Manifesto. Color and cognizance.
Then to cleave to a cast-off emotion,
(For all the dinners are cooked; the plates and cups are washed; the children sent to school and gone out into the world. Nothing remains of it all. All has vanished. No biography or history has a word to say about it. And the novels, without meaning to, inevitably lie)
(clarity! clarity!) a semblance of motion, omniscience"



"It was as if someone had let fall a shade. Perhaps the excellent hock was relinquishing its hold. Certainly, as I watched the Manx cat pause in the middle of the lawn as if it too questioned the universe, something seemed lacking, something seemed different. But what was lacking, what was different, I asked myself, listening to the talk. And to answer that question I had to think myself out of the room, back into the past, before the war indeed, and to set before my eyes the model of another luncheon party held in rooms not very distant from these; but different. Everything was different. meanwhile the talk went on among the guests, who were many and young,some of this sex, some of that; it went on swimmingly, it went on agreeably, freely, amusingly. And as it went on I set it against the background of that other talk, and as I matched the two together I had no doubt that one was the descendent, the legitimate heir of the other, Nothing was changed; nothing was different save only- here I listened with all my ears not entirely to what was being said, but to the murmur or current behind it. yes, that was it - the change was there. Before the war at a luncheon party like this people would have said precisely the same things but they would have sounded different, because in those days they were accompanied by a sort of humming noise, not articulate, but musical, exciting, which changed the value of the words themselves. Could one set that humming noise to words? Perhaps with the help of the poets one could."


Blogger JustinP said...

I'm not sure I understand the poem or that "Wolf" stuff - what I wanna know is, who's that handsome, pensive man at the top of your post???

11:19 AM  

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