Thursday, November 20, 2008

All Of The Magic, None Of The Tricks

Fig. 1. Caspar David Friedrich - Man and Woman Contemplating the Moon, 1824

'Longing is the umbilical cord of the higher life.'

Søren Kierkegaard

Your Ears Will Orgasm #9: Olivier Messiaen - Oraison (MixPod Player)


The following poem was sent to me by Katie, a regular reader and commenter, as a response to Caspar David Friedrich's image. I am posting it here for the benefit of those who do not normally peek into the comments box - and, needless to say, as a way of expressing my thanks for her spontaneous contribution.

Mist in the Valley

These hills, to hurt me more,
Than I am hurt already enough,--
Having left the sea behind,
Having turned suddenly and left the shore
That I loved beyond all words, even a song’s words, to convey,

And built me a house on upland acres,
Sweet with the pinxter, bright and rough
With the rusty blackbird long before the winter’s done,
But smelling never of bayberry hot in the sun,
Nor ever loud with the pounding of the long white breakers,--

These hills, beneath the October moon,
Sit in the valley white with mist
Like islands in a quiet bay,

Jut out from shore into the mist,
Wooded with poplar dark as pine,
Like points of land into a quiet bay,
(Just in that way
The harbour met the bay)

Stricken too sore for tears,
I stand, remembering the islands and the sea’s lost sound...
Life at its best no longer than the sand-peep’s cry,
And I two years, two years,
Tilling an upland ground!

E.S.V. Millay