Wednesday, October 18, 2006

In Wallace Stevens' poem, "Reply to Papini"

he writes: " . . . The way through the world
is more difficult to find than the way beyond it."

This sounds like Euclidean lucidity, to me.

We inhabit the labyrinth of everyday life. It would be nice
to view the maze from above, put it into a cosmological context,
actually understand "What it all means."

Etc.

But to come to a cogent understanding of the aurora borealis . . .

God; good and evil; these seem like simple problems compared to understanding the complex systems at play in the interactions between the earth and the sun.

Stevens continues:

" . . . The poet does not speak in ruins

Nor stand there making orotund consolations.
He shares the confusions of intelligence."

*

Papini was also central to Mina Loy's great poem, "Songs to Joannes."

3 Comments:

Blogger john hanson said...

amen to that

how swiftly the mind of the soul
turns to the mysterious
when burdened with the real
man cannot stand too much reality
that's a direct quote form me and nobody can use it

to stand in the midst of the fray
and accept it for what it is
is harder than going to church

although stevens liked to
wander around NYC and go into churches
maybe for contrast

oh that i could achieve an eloquece
such as his
so hard to understand
but when the understanding comes
it is to be ruminated

9:57 PM  
Blogger john hanson said...

and i might add
after reading the words
of last night
a few misspelled
i in a state of mild
dilerium the symptom
of fever

properly understood
the christian way is just that
to not flee from suffering
to be led by illusions of salvation

but to understand it
in terms of the crucifixion
that is the way through the world
transcendence is possible
only by facing the reality
of whatever hardship looms in our path

the confusions of intelligence
ring like a 12-tone concerto
each tone its own intelligence

hope however must spring eternal
or not at all

enough of orotund consolations
hear the cacaphonous bombast
of the masses, of every heart
yearning to speak

8:53 AM  
Blogger john hanson said...

wallace converted to catholicism
at the end of his life
i think because he saw it
as being the way
he worked out in his own mind
it was just like that

8:56 AM  

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