As so-called quarks, so atoms before and through
And after molecules, which too
Constitute us awhile, pluming
Through our slowly changing shapes
Through a duneless sandglass, say
(I said, once)—all these
So utterly forgetful, wiped clean
As numbers with each new use, lint-free.
How not so words, which pass our minds
And mouths and ears from hind-
Most elsewhere, on their way to elsewhere—why
Words are the sum of their histories: rose
And roke and no and blanketing snow.
— from Words are the Sum, Richard Kenney
To gaze at a river made of time and water
and remember Time is another river.
To know we stray like a river
and our faces vanish like water.
To feel that waking is another dream
that dreams of not dreaming and that the death
we fear in our bones is the death
that every night we call a dream.
To see in every day and year a symbol
of all the days of man and his years,
and convert the outrage of the years
into a music, a sound, and a symbol.
To see in death a dream, in the sunset
a golden sadness—such is poetry,
humble and immortal, poetry,
returning, like dawn and the sunset.
Sometimes at evening there’s a face
that sees us from the deeps of a mirror.
Art must be that sort of mirror,
disclosing to each of us his face.
They say Ulysses, wearied of wonders,
wept with love on seeing Ithaca,
humble and green. Art is that Ithaca,
a green eternity, not wonders.
Art is endless like a river flowing,
passing, yet remaining, a mirror to the same
inconstant Heraclitus, who is the same
and yet another, like the river flowing.
Jorge Luis Borges
All that remains
Of soldiers’ dreams "
Home is where one starts from. As we grow older
The world becomes stranger, the pattern more complicated
Of dead and living. Not the intense moment
Isolated, with no before or after,
But a lifetime burning in every moment
And not the lifetime of one man only
But of old stones that cannot be deciphered.
T.S. Eliot, ‘East Coker’ from Four Quartets
And I have searched the highths and depths, the scope
Of all our universe, with desperate hope
To find some solace for your wild unrest.
—James Thomson, “The City of Dreadful Night”
The sun is an example of a supremely sensitive being because it can always disappear.
—Liberté et Patrie - Jean-Luc Godard, 2oo2
Not time at all, really, but space
like you don’t know, and knowledge there
in general, finally admits
how meager a consolation
it has been all along. Once
you grow accustomed to the sprawl
and velocity your own mind
articulates (and that queasy
rocking tapers to a hum) you might
have pause to entertain a sense
of presence reaching suddenly,
and now, and deeply, ever so.