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Thursday, 5 November 2009



File:John Constable 029.jpg

My heart, then, though small, was full -- having caught
In summer through the fractured wall a glimpse
Of daylight, at the thought of where I was
I gladdened more than if I had beheld
Before me some bright cavern of Romance,
Or than we do, when on our beds we lie
At night, in warmth, when rains are beating hard,
The radio playing -- a distant ballgame
In some city we've never seen, but dreamed,
And then, the rain driving through the night
Silences everything the passing years
Incorporate into their dying bodies,
The way stars dissolve, with long thinking,
Into the harrowed centres of themselves.


Cloud study: John Constable, 1822 (National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne)
The death of a star: Cygnus Loop supernova shock wave: image by NASA, 2007


Anonymous said...

their beauty has more meaning.

TC said...

To my way of understanding beauty and meaning in the universe exist only in the minds of humans, who also sometimes find those things in themselves (though I don't know how they do it). My guess would be that the greater part of the universe may possess beauty and meaning without bothering to know it, for what need would there be to know those things if they are of the essence of yourself and cannot be unmade or undone. Of course more meaning would be superior to no meaning, unless, on the other hand, any meaning at all is inferior to no meaning.

I should probably say that I perceive the beauty in all this, but on this particular night in the universe I am afraid that would be less than the truth. The phase of expansion and the phase of contraction may represent different dimensions altogether. The shock waves of a dying star will continue to reach out to us long after the star has ceased to exist and as for us, I'm not sure it can be said for certain that we were ever really here; I am still waiting to discover what exactly we have done to deserve any of these gifts.

Annie said...

from this contraction, that
of being

deserving or not
I thank you

TC said...


And I you likewise, always.

Anonymous said...

The same way someone touches another Soul.Beautiful, you.

TC said...


The possibility that another Soul might be there to be touched, what other promise can there be to keep us doing this crazy thing we do?

human being said...

such profound wisdom...

i'm thinking about these happening in our microcosm... when the rain in me silences things... when stars in me dissolve in themselves...

TC said...


I understand that the things that seem farthest away are often within us and that the things we feel we cannot touch are often remarkably close to us also, though as far out of reach of our words as though they were in another universe.

These are sensings that occur when I read your poetry, for example.

Here I think of this passage from the twilight pages of Wittgenstein's Tractatus:

6.521 The solution of the problem of life is seen in the vanishing of the problem.

(Is not this the reason why those who have found after a long period of doubt that the sense of life became clear to them have then been unable to say what constituted that sense?)

6.522 There are, indeed, things that cannot be put into words. They make themselves manifest. They are what is mystical.

human being said...

ah... thanks, Tom...

this feeling of being both near and far away... of not being able to put some of the things into words, reminded me of a line from a Persian song:

you are with me
i'm far from myself...

TC said...


What beautiful lines those are, capturing so much of the depth and mystery and tragedy and pain and joy of what it is to be human and to have feelings that perhaps neither will nor can be expressed, yet to keep on trying to express them all the same... for of course as you know, and as all your work shows, there is no giving up, that is the one thing in life of which we may be certain.

human being said...

oh i really needed to be reminded of this...
no giving up...

always going up!

thanks a lot, Tom...