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Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Everything Changes (After Brecht: Alles wandelt sich)



Everything changes, the water
drop becomes
part of the water
it enters -- plip -- and can't
turn back. What

File:2006-01-14 Surface waves.jpg

has happened
has happened, but
everything changes, and
another water

File:2006-01-28 Drop-impact.jpg

A water drop: photo by Sven Hoppe, 2005
Surface waves of water (expansion of a disturbance): photo by Roger McLassus, 2006
Impact of a drop of water on a water-surface: photo by Roger McLassus, 2006


phaneronoemikon said...

many times i have searched for the technical terms for these droplet morphologies, tracing the desire to an album cover I saw long ago, perhaps in the early 80's.

All I can remember is something like


Is, or are there terms associated with these semi-repeatable almost platonic forms or class of forms?

I am tired of being thwarted!


Curtis Roberts said...

It's fascinating what you've done here, as poetry, as translation and as something that leads you back very far in time, to Heraclitus, obviously, and before. The sound of the words "Alles wandelt sich" is so great. And the day I've had makes me join phaneronoemikon in saying I am tired of being thwarted also!

human being said...

and change is everything...

TC said...

Mes amis,

I join you in this thwarted preoccupation,

The practical realities of daily existence here being at this point so complicated and daunting as to tempt one to lose oneself forever in water droplet morphologies,

yet the terminologies escape one.

Lanny, I don't know from "rubicon"... but will check it out... sounds as though it's got rubies and redness and fate rivers in it...could you by any chance be thinking of "Lotus Effect"?

Those big spooky golf ball size droplets bouncing in the liquefied mushroom patch are very Lewis Carroll.

More later on this... quizas.

(By the by, in the Brecht poem the liquid is not water but wine, and I've left out some happyface bits about "fresh starts" -- this is from Brecht's Hollywood period, he was getting paid screenwriting work from Fritz Lang, living nicely in Santa Monica and getting invited to lots of parties: I'm afraid my version is a bit more flat and fatalistic (the non-party version) and that, among other reasons, is why I have avoided calling it a translation. Also, while on the subject: there's a "green" version of the Brecht poem by Cicely Herbert in which she remakes the fluid ingredients into environmental poisons. Showing that, if nothing else, BB's poem has "legs" .. or should one say "fins"?)


Yes, it's true... and very scary.

(There's that curious expression, "the situation remains fluid..." which always makes me wonder how an instability can be seen to be stable...?)

And oh yes, up Heraclitus!

Admonition at Low Tide

Make a wish!
The Manta Ray
Enjoined the Starfish.
Panta Rei!

TC said...

Re. our thwarted surface-tension terminological enquiry: considering this in the "cold light of two minutes later" (?), one is prompted to concede that the nanotechnology of superhydrophobicity, as applicable in the case of the water repellent leaves of the lotus flower (Nelumbo), as of other common flat leaf flowers (eg. nasturtium = Tropaeolum), is obviously a special application. The water droplets in the water-on-water photos with this post are being accepted not repelled... not without a bit of disturbance mind you, nothing out of the ordinary...still I found the animated "lotus effect" graphic amusing in that inimitable pinhead-poet way. (The graphic is meant to illustrate the self-cleaning property of superhydrophobic micro-nanostructured surfaces.)

Sorry if this has confused anyone... but as I'm always doing that to myself anyway... Perhaps a bit of sleep one of these years might help with sorting some of these logical category boundaries.

As to Rubicon... is it sleep deprivation that's making this Atlas Curriculum Management Team appear to be a front for a massive nanotechnological tidal planetary takeover of which until this moment we have not received so much as a micro-informational droplet...?

And as for the literal nonmetaphorical Rubicon... a relief to see things are looking a bit quieter on those waters than on the morning of 10 January, 49 BC.



Thanks and yes, and so true -- "what// has happened/ has happened, but/ everything changes. . . ." Could you print Brecht's German original . . . .


grey light coming into sky above blackness
of ridge, planet beside moon above branch
in foreground, waves sounding in channel

might appear as an obstacle ,
beginning to operate

both in question and recall,
interior, the person

cloudless blue sky reflected in channel,
white of moon in pale blue sky above it

TC said...


The original, as requested:

Alles wandelt sich

Alles wandelt sich. Neu beginnen
Kannst du mit dem letzten Atemzug.
Aber was geschehen, ist geschehen. Und das Wasser
Das du in den Wein gossest, kannst du
Nicht mehr herausschütten.

Was geschehen, ist geschehen. Das Wasser
Das du in den Wein gossest, kannst du
Nicht mehr herausschütten, aber
Alles wandelt sich. Neu beginnen
Kannst du mit dem letzten Atemzug.



Thanks for this, we've been Heidegger's Parmenides on Thursday nights, looking at the German alongside the translation, which is most often so much more 'physical' ('carnal') than the English. Something here from an earlier bit of that ---


first grey light in sky above still black
ridge, planet by half moon beside branch
in foreground, sound of wave in channel

drawing done after painting,
filled sky with dots

what appears in relation to,
because of it, light

sunlit green slope of ridge above channel,
moon in cloudless blue sky across from it

TC said...


This probably sounds like (is!) a nitwit's question, but when you say "we" (doing Heidegger's Parmenides on Thursday nights), do you mean you and Johnny?

If so, stand back world, you have a prodigy on your hands.


Thanks Tom!, not a "nitwit's question" at all -- it's Bob (Grenier) and Sean Thackrey (who lives next door) and Susan Thackrey (his ex-wife who comes out from the city) and Tinker Green (who also comes out from the city), AND Johnny -- who's always there too, falls asleep on the couch or futon, at whoever's house we are meeting at that night, here this last Thursday, Sean's next week. When Johnny woke up just now he said, "Let's look at the pictures" -- meaning yours, so I've revisited your soccer painting (very cool) and those crows --- thanks, he's a great fan of your work (!)

Here, by the way, are the last two sentences of what we read on Thursday: "Seeing," in the sense of the gaze into the essence the seeing of genuine thinking, does not come about by itself but is, in a different way than the usual "seeing" and "seeing-to," threatened on all sides by errors. But what about the one who not only drinks beyond the measure but who drinks only this water.?

TC said...

Thanks Steve (and Johnny), and best regards to the study group.