Saturday, October 22, 2011

MOONLIGHT, CORNFIELDS, STARS


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Charles Warren Eaton: "Bruges Moonlight" (1910)

“We gaze with perplexity at the highest part of the spiral of force that governs the Universe. And we call it God.

We could give it any other name: Abyss, Mystery, Absolute Darkness, Total Light, Matter, Spirit, Supreme Hope, Supreme Despair, Silence.

But we call it God, because only this name – for some mysterious reason – is capable of making our heart tremble with vigor.

And let there be no doubt that this trembling is absolutely indispensable for us to be in contact with the basic emotions of the human being."

—Nikos Kazantzakis (1883 - 1957)







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T. Samuel Palmer: "Cornfield by Moonlight with Evening Star"

The Moment
The moment when, after many years
of hard work and a long voyage
you stand in the centre of your room,
house, half-acre, square mile, island, country,
knowing at last how you got there,
and say, I own this,

is the same moment when the trees unloose
their soft arms from around you,
the birds take back their language,
the cliffs fissure and collapse,
the air moves back from you like a wave
and you can’t breathe.

No, they whisper. You own nothing.
You were a visitor, time after time
climbing the hill, planting the flag, proclaiming.
We never belonged to you.
You never found us.
It was always the other way round.

—Margaret Atwood



Courtesy of panhala.net

1 comment:

  1. For some reason, the poem by Atwood reminded me of this:

    The Gift Outright
    BY ROBERT FROST
    The land was ours before we were the land’s.
    She was our land more than a hundred years
    Before we were her people. She was ours
    In Massachusetts, in Virginia,
    But we were England’s, still colonials,
    Possessing what we still were unpossessed by,
    Possessed by what we now no more possessed.
    Something we were withholding made us weak
    Until we found out that it was ourselves
    We were withholding from our land of living,
    And forthwith found salvation in surrender.
    Such as we were we gave ourselves outright
    (The deed of gift was many deeds of war)
    To the land vaguely realizing westward,
    But still unstoried, artless, unenhanced,
    Such as she was, such as she would become.

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