Tuesday, October 15, 2013

(the dark language of autumn rain heard through the open window as i post this)

I cannot be grasped in the here and now. For I reside just as much with the dead as with the unborn.
Somewhat closer to the heart of creation than usual.
But not nearly close enough.

--Paul Klee

Saturday, October 12, 2013

It is not possible for the moon

This mangled, smutted semi-world hacked out

Of dirt . . . It is not possible for the moon
To blot this with its dove-winged blendings.

She must come now. The grass is in seed and high.
Come now. Those to be born have need

Of the bride, love being a birth, have need to see
And to touch her . . . .

Come now, pearled and pasted, bloomy-leafed,
While the domes resound with chant involving chant.

Wallace Stevens
from "Ghosts as Cocoons"

Saturday, October 5, 2013

My whole mortality trembling to take thy body

from "The Eternal Wedding"

She:  What hast thou done to me! -- I would have soul,
Before I knew thee, Love, a captive held 
By flesh. Now, inly delighted with desire, 
My body knows itself to be nought else 
But thy heart’s worship of me; and my soul 
Therein is sunlight held by warm gold air. 
Nay, all my body is become a song 
Upon the breath of spirit, a love-song. 

He:  And mine is all like one rapt faculty,
As it were listening to the love in thee, 
My whole mortality trembling to take 
Thy body like heard singing of thy spirit. 

She:  Surely by this, Beloved, we must know
Our love is perfect here,—that not as holds 
The common dullard thought, we are things lost 
In an amazement that is all unware; 
But wonderfully knowing what we are! 
Lo, now that body is the song whereof 
Spirit is mood, knoweth not our delight? 
Knoweth not beautifully now our love, 
That Life, here to this festival bid come 
Clad in his splendour of worldly day and night, 
Filled and empower’d by heavenly lust, is all 
The glad imagination of the Spirit? 

He:  Were it not so, Love could not be at all:
Nought could be, but a yearning to fullfil 
Desire of beauty, by vain reaching forth 
Of sense to hold and understand the vision 
Made by impassion’d body,—vision of thee! 
But music mixt with music are, in love, 
Bodily senses; and as flame hath light, 
Spirit this nature hath imagined round it, 
No way concealed therein, when love comes near, 
Nor in the perfect wedding of desires 
Suffering any hindrance. 

She:  Ah, but now,
Now am I given love’s eternal secret! 
Yea, thou and I who speak, are but the joy 
Of our for ever mated spirits; but now 
The wisdom of my gladness even through Spirit 
Looks, divinely elate. Who hath for joy 
Our Spirits? Who hath imagined them 
Round him in fashion’d radiance of desire, 
As into light of these exulting bodies 
Flaming Spirit is uttered? 

He:  Yea, here the end
Of love’s astonishment! Now know we Spirit, 
And Who, for ease of joy, contriveth Spirit. 
Now all life’s loveliness and power we have 
Dissolved in this one moment, and our burning 
Carries all shining upward, till in us 
Life is not life, but the desire of God, 
Himself desiring and himself accepting. 
Now what was prophecy in us is made 
Fulfilment: we are the hour and we are the joy, 
We in our marvellousness of single knowledge, 
Of Spirit breaking down the room of fate 
And drawing into his light the greeting fire 
Of God,—God known in ecstasy of love 
Wedding himself to utterance of himself 

Lascelles Abercrombie
Emblems of Love