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Saturday, September 29, 2012

let the night be dark








A C C E P T A N C E 

by Robert Frost

When the spent sun throws up its rays on cloud
And goes down burning into the gulf below,
No voice in nature is heard to cry aloud
At what has happened. Birds, at least must know
It is the change to darkness in the sky.
Murmuring something quiet in her breast,
One bird begins to close a faded eye;
Or overtaken too far from his nest,
Hurrying low above the grove, some waif
Swoops just in time to his remembered tree.
At most he thinks or twitters softly, 'Safe!
Now let the night be dark for all of me.
Let the night be too dark for me to see
Into the future. Let what will be, be.




In autumn, the 'shuffling of mysteries," as Adam Zagajewski has called that moment when light and shadow trade places, occurs more swiftly. The light is golden, and then, shazam, the shadows drop down, shift places.  Robert Frost, I know, is not today one of the fashionable poets. I have difficulty reading rhyme with much pleasure to be perfectly honest.  But isn't that line so captivating:

 Now let the night be dark for all of me.


On my walk this morning I was thinking about how there are so many ways and modes of saying something. So many poetries.  And isn't it strange that all the schools are at odds with each other? That poets, of all people, would be so at odds.  I was thinking that there is so much yet to say, about the way the night descends on us, darkens us, and the reverse - how in the mornings the sky lightens, we are exposed, we are free, we are no longer safe, the dark may yet cling to us even though we are drenched in sun.  There is so much yet to say about the simplest, everyday things, that shouldn't we be trying to say these things in every way possible? In varying tones and using various poetic strategies, with a frothy exuberance, and with a bare minimalism, and in our own time and in our own particular weird 21st century language.  Plain, embellished, obscure, complicated, knotty, twirling, chaotic, restrained, sensual, forceful, questioning, questing, spiritual, bleak etc.....


Having said all this, I'm reminded to pull a book off my shelf (I'm reminded how much I miss this book, and need to revisit it) - the book is The Blue Studio by Rachel Blau Duplessis.

In her essay "f-words" she talks about the essay as "a way of knowing." As "a path. In some old woods, in the middle of something. The path of rhetoric is the path of knowledge. The digression is the subject. The polyvocal collage, the unmatted plurality, the tonal glissades, the upstart mischief, undecorous, suspicious, the probing, the backtracking, the outbursts, the resistances are a large measure of the essay's findings."

She goes on: "The test of the essay is whether it opens a space for the reader, rather than closing one."

I guess I've been most interested in that space where poem and essay happen to meet, in that place where the mysteries are shuffled.  I'm interested in spaces opening up.

How many times this summer, and now this fall, have I gone out into the backyard early in the morning, usually in my pyjamas, usually with my camera, just to be there when the sun rises, just to be there in that shuffling. I never quite get the photograph I want, the one that says, I was there in the midst of that mystery.  Oddly, this spurs me on. I want to get closer, closer, and I hope I can, that I will, eventually.  




1 comment:

  1. . . .oh, but the ones that come close . . .
    Love this shot above.

    ReplyDelete

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