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March 7th, 2011

In other news, here's a line from Sylvia Plath:

I am nobody; I have nothing to do with explosions.

That's a good line.

I came across it reading one of hers in the comments to a recent posting at greatpoets, where most recently somebody looking for this poem:


Consolation for Tamar
      on the occasion of her breaking
      an ancient pot


You know I am no archeologist, Tamar,
And that to me it is all one dust or another.
Still, it must mean something to survive the weather
Of the Ages--earthquake, flood, and war--

Only to shatter in your very hands.
Perhaps it was gravity, or maybe fated--
Although I wonder if it had not waited
Those years in drawers, aeons in distant lands,

And in your fingers' music, just a little
Was emboldened by your blood, and so forgot
That it was not a rosebud, but a pot,
And, trying to unfold for you, was brittle.

— Alicia E. Stallings



posted this one as an offering along with the request:


The Annunciation

It isn't just that an angel entered: realize,
this is not what startled her. She might have been
somebody else, and the angel
some sunlight or, at night, the moon
occupying itself in her room--, so quietly
she accustomed herself to the form he took.
She barely suspected that this kind of visit
is exhausting to angels. (Oh if we knew
how pure she was. Didn't a deer,
catching sight of her once in the forest,
lose itself so much in looking at her
that without coupling it conceived the unicorn,
the animal of light, the pure animal!)
It's not just that he walked in, but that
he placed the face of a young man
so closed to her: his gaze and the one
with which she answered it blended
so much, suddenly, that everything else vanished
and what millions saw, built, and endured
crowded inside of her: only her and him:
seeing and seen, eye and whatever is beautiful to the eye
nowhere else but right here. This
is startling. And it startled them both.

Then the angel sang his song.

-- Rilke
   tr. Franz Wright?



The annunciation always makes me think of Bennett Lamond, my medieval lang/lit prof, showing us a painting of the event (I can't be sure now which one) and emphasizing the many "tell"s suggesting that Mary wasn't real keen on the idea, to say the least.


(The Plath, btw, is "Tulips.")
 
 
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