Sunday, July 03, 2005


A number of poems by favourite American living poet John Ashbery expound on this theme, reminding us of the role of art (i.e. my book, my writing, or, for the same, my paper square) in the whole story. What we learn from Nature about shape and position between things, we might as well apply to paperfolding and love lines. To "loveliness".



All beauty, resonance, integrity,
Exist by deprivation or logic
Of strange position. This being so,

We can only imagine a world in which a woman
Walks and wears her hair and knows
All that she does not know. Yet we know

What her breasts are. And we give fullness
To the dream. The table supports the book,
The plume leaps in the hand. But what

Dismal scene is this? the old man pouting
At a black cloud,
the woman gone
Into the house, from which the wailing starts?


The young man places
a bird-house
Against the
blue sea. He walks away
And it remains. Now other

Men appear, but they live in boxes.
The sea protects them like a wall.
The gods worship a line-drawing

Of a woman, in the shadow of the sea
Which goes on writing. Are there
Collisions, communications on the shore

Or did all secrets vanish when
the woman left?
Is the bird mentioned
In the wave's minutes, or did the land advance?

from his book Some Trees (1956)

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