Friday, March 07, 2014

Maturity and Experience

Those little stubby antlers were coming along nicely last year. Because of the new rule that bucks must now have four points (not just three) on each side to be legally taken during hunting season, I am hopeful that he might have made it through another year. But, of course, if I spot him, we will not recognize each other! The word "antler" puzzled me as a child. I encountered it, probably in The Yearling, by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (one of the three-named writers, as am I) and confused it with something religious like "altar" -- it took me years to straighten that out and to reform my odd in-between pronunciation. I still can never remember how to say the word "cicada" because of a similar early confusion.

One of the most "mature" poets I have met was Czeslaw Milosz. He really was a grownup! I mentioned before that I have been going through his 1987-88 journal A Year of the Hunter, Farrar Straus Giroux, 1994. on the same days this year. Here is the complete entry for today, March 7, 1988,

March 7, 1988

I cannot grasp in verse my basic theme. Experience teaches that in such cases one has to wait.  Let's say for several months. But my hope that I will succeed in catching it is contradicted by my resignation, because, after all, the time will come when one does not write poems anymore.

And there you have it, at least for tonight.

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