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Comment 1 of 3, added on March 30th, 2006 at 3:37 PM.
If life is like a poem, what blessings must await us. As consensus is
reached after much debate, so is the harvest reaped after the struggle for
life reaches fruition. It almost seems that a poem must die first to be
reborn in its completion. But like in life, we set aside what we begin, to
later begin again what we set aside, and so in, complete the cycle,
finishing where we started and starting where we finished. I wonder what
Sappho could tell us. There is maturity in beauty, surely, but also beauty
in maturity. Deliberation is a great quality - so many ill qualified
decisions lacking deliberation. And when there is no time to deliberate, a
poem takes on responsibilities it can’t necessarily burden. Fear, for
example benefits from context. Fear can only be part of a poem. The
motivation perhaps but fear itself, can’t write a poem. And so it seems
with “White Apples” deliberation has given the poem context and yet not
stolen its urgency. It is as if Sappho walked into the room, ugly as sin
and we said but how…and she said, “it was time and observation, denial,
even, that allowed me to see woman in all her sensuality.” A paradox?
Maybe. But just as an infant must mature, we must look inward before
looking out. And the irony is, that it is often easier to observe than
introspect. That is why it takes “a monstrosity of patience” to write a
Indeed, a lie often contains the truth. What is fiction but a lie. Why do
we not always speak of ourselves in the first person? Perhaps because we
don’t know ourselves. It’s easy to hide in characterization, even of the
“self”. “White apples and the taste of stone…” is a line that knows itself
– part fear and part bravery. It gives the poem context. It seems to say,
“I can’t write this poem. It must write itself.” It has a life of its own
and may span many years as it travels through the mind. And then one day
we cross its path and see our self for the first time in its eyes, just as
it sees itself in the eyes of its long lost master, and yet who knows which
is really the master. And so we let it go and are done.
nick harris from United States