Saturday, November 15, 2014

Getting started on Instagram

My granddaughter is helping my brother, Dave, set up his first Instagram account.
It's a family visit extraordinaire that lasted all evening 
and was everything from this and silly jokes 
to serious discussions about reading and history. 
Another brother, Richard, is here from his home in South America, 
but he leaves at four in the morning, so this was our only night all together
with my son and his wife.

I just unpacked the last box I brought from Michigan,
and here is my beloved Czeslaw Milosz.


Crowds, streetcars stopped---is it a demonstration?
In the city of Oakland in the year 1919?
All of them, obviously, in hats, looking up
No, not at a speaker. It is a human fly
Who climbs vertically the wall of a building.

O miserable human fly, arms spread aloft,
You move inch by inch, resting a handhold.
And below, those hats. Will he fall? Or make it?

They stand in the photograph, lovers of plebeian games,
Of matches in a ring, acrobatics under the tent of a wandering circus.
Of catch-as-catch can, of blood in the arena.
I am not a lover of mankind, although I pretended,
As if my tender skin, my fastidiousness were no against.

---But these here, hot-blooded, how many eyes,
Muscles, varieties of chin, shapes of lips,
All must be dead.
They are shadows, no more.

---And it is just that such a short existence had been their store.

Czeslaw Milosz
New and Collected Poems (1931-2001), Ecco, 2001, page 614.

The more times I read this poem, the more there is in it.

And outdoors, snow decorated the Little Union Canal.

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