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Sunday, 9 October 2011

A Light in the Window


Untitled 1536: photo by Todd Hido, 1996 (Kaune, Sudendorf Gallery for Contemporary Photography, Cologne)

The singer lit his purest
candle and placed it in
the window of the fleeting
house. But how unkind
the night wind blew
that flickering candle
out. How insecure

a teetering bridge
over a vale of
tears for fears
the recursive
mentation, the missed
moment all
through the regressive
the impurities and so
once more

The singer lit his purest

candle and placed it in
the window of the fleeting


Untitled 2910: photo by Todd Hido, 2001 (Kaune, Sudendorf Gallery for Contemporary Photography, Cologne)

Untitled 1975-a: photo by Todd Hido, 1996 (Kaune, Sudendorf Gallery for Contemporary Photography, Cologne)


ACravan said...

When I read/saw this, I immediately felt it was a song. I really would love hearing/seeing this set to music. Todd Hido is amazing, by the way. Curtis

Julia said...

Curtis is right: the music is hidden here. May be it will shine in a moment like the sudden light.
A wonderful poem, Tom!

TC said...

Curtis and Julia,

There is indeed a snatch of song behind this.

A bit (more) about the singer...

David Graham said...

I love this poem, and the illustrative photos too. But even more, I love the "Morning Glory" post you linked to with its wonderful and layered reflections on the lyric enterprise. Any chance that has been published somewhere besides this blog?



TB and TH 'inspires' TC to light light this candle, put it in the window of this "fleeting/ house" so some of us too can see the light. . . .


grey whiteness of fog against invisible
ridge, song sparrow calling from branch
in foreground, wave sounding in channel

returning from the start to
that, including those

opposite, subject which was
observed, again since

silver of sunlight reflected in channel,
grey white fog on horizon next to point

vazambam (Vassilis Zambaras) said...

a light
lit you

on me


's now

Great post all around, especially the link where your comments on songs sent me straight to Seferis' "Denial" which was set to music by Theodorakis many years back and continues to be one of Greece's favorite songs.

Incidentally, the word verification for this comment was "schne"--one more 'e' would've convinced me the gnome behind the control panel was German.

TC said...

Thanks, David. And no, the Morning Glory piece never appeared elsewhere; like much else that is to be found here, it was written with this as its intended home.

(Strange fits of passion have I known.)

Straining through the dark to hear Stephen's song sparrow awakening...

Thanks to all for keeping a little light in this window... and to Vassilis for continuing instruction in the arts of illumination, intentional and other:

quoth the gnome

nobody home
under the dome

David Graham said...

Well, should you be moved to publish a new collection of essays & reflections about poetry, may I recommend that "The Morning Glory" be included! Time for a sequel to *The Poetry Beat*? I am a proud owner of that one. . . .

Thanks also for introducing me to Hido's photography. Marvelous stuff.

David Graham

Nin Andrews said...

I love the poem and the Burchfield piece. And those pictures . . . Really mystical!
My word verification is Ekste like some kind of code for the feelings of some kind of internal burn in the work here.

TC said...


Interesting you should mention the Burchfields, in the context of this photographer.

There's a sort of "hidden connection" (aha!), there, at least in my mind.

That is, both Burchfield and Todd Hido (almost a century later, of course) came from relatively obscure origins, in northeastern Ohio.

Of all places.

gamefaced said...

very love this.

collected photographs said...

Hi, Not really a comment. Just an invite to do a Pataphysics magazine guest post. See here
Let me know if of interest. Hope the odd context appeals. Kind regards Yanni

TC said...

Many thanks g, you bellwether you.

Yanni, swell. Odd context = good context.

TC said...

Oh, and another Burchfield/Hido "coincidence" (do coincidences exist?): all those houses are haunted.