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Wednesday, 2 June 2010

James Schuyler: Salute


Unidentified Asteraceae, Death Valley National Park: photo by Mila Zinkova, 2005

Past is past, and if one
remembers what one meant
to do and never did, is
not to have thought to do
enough? Like that gather-
ing of one of each I
planned, to gather one
of each kind of clover,
daisy, paintbrush that
grew in that field
the cabin stood in and
study them one afternoon
before they wilted. Past
is past. I salute
that various field.

James Schuyler: from Salute, 1960

Wildflowers, Death Valley National Park: photo by Mila Zinkova, 2005


TC said...

And another little bit of the genius that is/was Jimmy:


Marcia said...

Wonderful poem and photos. Texas has been beautiful this spring, filled with fields of wildflowers, and I, too, would have loved to have gathered each kind, studying them before they were gone. Ah, such is life -- a fleeting season of bluebonnets and paintbrush.



Beautiful Schuyler here, and coupled w/ the Dorn makes it two for two. . . . Some resonances I see (here) --


first grey light in fog against invisible
ridge, robin calling 3 notes from branch
in foreground, sound of wave in channel

each one will be seen to be,
abundance of phenomena

itself, in dramatic sequence,
painting after “forms”

white cloud in pale blue sky above ridge,
wingspan of gull flapping across from it

TC said...

Ah, such is life -- a fleeting season of bluebonnets and paintbrush.

each one will be seen to be,
abundance of phenomena

The dailiness and the seasonableness of the poem are indices for me in Jimmy -- and in Marcia -- and in Stephen.

A bit from "A Few Days" (1986):

Tomorrow is another day, but no better than today if you only realize it.

Let's love today, the what we have now, not today or tomorrow or

yesterday, but this passing moment, that will not come again.

(wingspan of gull flapping across...)

Curtis Roberts said...

Like the other readers, I received this gratefully like a present during an unexpectedly jam-packed, stressful day whose high point (I'm not kidding) was achieved in the blissful isolation of the dentist's office. I'd forgotten what a chore studying for finals can be (and they're not even my finals). Re-meeting Starlings is a really nice finale. I'm saving the Dorn for the morning.

Barry Taylor said...

Tom - Browsing the archive again, and pulled in by your lovely outbursts of Schuyler. Feel compelled to just share the tiniest 'little bit of genius' from his 'February' (which of course you'll know), that embodies the feeling I get more from JS than almost anyone, this grateful expansion of the whole self towards things, life, stuff, weather, light:

One green wave moved in the violet sea
like the UN buildings on big evenings,
green and wet
while the sky turns violet.
A few almond trees
had a few flowers, like a few snowflakes
out of the blue looking pink in the light.
A grey hush
in which the boxy trucks roll up Second Avenue
into the sky. They're just
going over the hill.

Show me a more wonderful line break than that last one.


Barry Taylor said...

Well, looking again, maybe the one immediately before it. Such riches.

TC said...

Ah, Jimmy. At his best, so very near perfect.

"....just/ going over the hill" boils down all the effort in the world into all the (deceptive!) ease in the world.

The apogee of the urban pastoral -- "in our time" -- already but a memory.

Sic transit memoria.