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« "Thursday" [by Mark Ford] | Main | Splash, splash [by Mitch Sisskind] »

June 30, 2022


Thank you for bringing attention to Greville, a fine thoughtful fellow. Your comments on his substance are interesting. I would suggest that the key destination for his argument is "inward evils". He points out that the storms of the mind have very real sources. Perhaps one could look at it as the emergence of life from the muck of decay and its dependence on decay and death for nourishment. Life is an extension of decay in an organized form, aware of its source yet drawn to the light of the transcendent spirit. If this light is removed the dark truth of the grave seizes the imagination as it should, and after all, "dust to dust" as Donne repeatedly tells us.

To Kyril Carlsoyas: I appreciate your thoughtful response to Greville's poem. Thank you.

Yes, a wonderful sonnet to ponder and poet to meet. Thank you! I think Emily Dickinson was expressing something similar, below. While both poems suggest intriguing resonances with possible spiritual realms, good and evil, even with the current tribalism in our nation that came first to my mind, I believe it's each poet's keen attention to how vision actually changes at night that allows their poems to gain a universality and plasticity that continues to speak to and invite a thoughtful reader to dwell in those further possibilities.

We grow accustomed to the Dark —
When Light is put away —
As when the Neighbor holds the Lamp
To witness her Good bye —

A Moment — We Uncertain step
For newness of the night —
Then — fit our Vision to the Dark —
And meet the Road — erect —

And so of larger — Darknesses —
Those Evenings of the Brain —
When not a Moon disclose a sign —
Or Star — come out — within —

The Bravest — grope a little —
And sometimes hit a Tree
Directly in the Forehead —
But as they learn to see —

Either the Darkness alters —
Or something in the sight
Adjusts itself to Midnight —
And Life steps almost straight.

Thanks for the excellent comment, Sally.I love Dickinson and and am grateful to you for posting this brave poem of hers confronting the dark. MNoreover. . .I owe you a letter.

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I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman


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