ON THE THRESHOLD OF THE POEM
by Anna Kamienska
On the threshold of the poem shake off the dust
the powder of hate from your soul
set aside passion
so as not to defile words
Into this space step alone
and the tenderness of things will enfold you
and lead you toward the dark
as if you had lost worldly sight
There whatever was named will return
and stand in the radiance so you and I
can find each other
like two trees that were lost in fog
And also, from Kamienska, from her Notebooks, which can be found in her Selected, titled, Astonishments. (I've put her book on my recommended shelf above).
"Every poet has some task to complete. When you start to do it, when you discover your task, your poetry at once gets dynamic and becomes authentic. Then there is no problem with so-called form. It finds itself. Simply to write poems doesn't yet make you a poet."
Kamienska is a poet I've only recently discovered. Her notebooks verge on poetry. One can only hope that more and more of her work will be translated. (Or maybe it has been, and I've yet to find it). But I do very much recommend Astonishments. And also the translations by Clare Cavanagh of the notebooks on Poetry Foundation, which I would dearly love to see in book form.
In the meanwhile. Light. September evening light, to be more specific. I feel like I've been too busy, too sort of frantic, to really let this particular light sink into me. For me to note its particularities. The gentleness of fall light, the tenderness. The way it embraces and outlines shapes. The way it reaches towards the ends of things and holds them, carries them a ways.
September light gets softer right before your very eyes.
September light, of an evening, will find the shabbiest things and give them a moment of holiness that is only their due.
A little holiness, a little razzle-dazzle.
In September, you don't ask for the light, you don't plead. You wait.
September light is patient, it arrives. It requires nothing from you at all. Just a moment to take it in, breathe it in.
Just breathe it in.
Just sit with it.