Thursday, November 21, 2013

Verdant Memory

"Another wood, the bright one." Deer, grasses, maple, spruce. Mid-August.
I think this doe can see me taking pictures through the window.

On the Daily Walk today, it was very, very cold with some wind. How quickly the summer was gone! I did manage to finish Dark Visions, the first volume of Coleridge's biography by Richard Holmes. And I've taken a tiny start at Volume Two. I keep wishing to tell Coleridge to lay off the laudanum, but it is 200 years too late. The first book ends with the beginning of his voyage to Gibraltar in April, 1804. The second volume begins with the voyage; he has to share the cabin with a drunken Lieutenant on half pay and a merry fat lady. He measured his bunk and it was 20 inches wide! I guess I prefer the way we do things now.

[Aside: S's laptop (the power plug slips, but not all the way out) just told him to "plug in or find another power choice."
"Like what," he screams, "a waterwheel.??"]

And here, to go with this verdant photograph is Tomas Transtromer's Madrigal. It is in Inspired Notes; poems of Tomas Transtromer translated by John F. Deane, page 65.


I inherited a dark wood to which I seldom go. But a day
will come when the dead and the living change places.
Then the wood will begin to stir. We are not without
hope. The most serious crimes remain unsolved despite
the efforts of many policemen. In the same way there
exists, somewhere in our lives, a great love, unsolved. I
inherited a dark wood but today I am going into another 
wood, the bright one. Every living thing that sings,
wriggles, oscillates and crawls! It is spring and the air is 
very strong. I have a degree from oblivion's university
and am as emptyhanded as the shirt on the clothesline.

Tomas Transtromer

It interests me that this is a prose poem, but that some of the linebreaks, which I have reproduced, are still very interesting. S. doesn't think there is any such thing as a prose poem. . . I like them, but I do so appreciate the way the music is enhanced by good linebreaks. Spellcheck doesn't like "linebreak" or "spellcheck" either, but I am a BIG FAN of compounded words, especially in poems.
It is after midnight now and frost crystals cover the ground in Eagle, Idaho, named for the bird. Fly to bed!

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