The floor is something we must fight against.
Whilst seemingly mere platform for the human
stance, it is that place that men fall to.
I am not dizzy. I stand as a tower, a lighthouse;
the pale ray of my sentiency flowing from my face.
But should I go dizzy I crash down into the floor;
my face into the floor, my attention bleeding into
the cracks of the floor.
Dear horizontal place, I do not wish to be a rug.
Do not pull at the difficult head, this teetering
bulb of dread and dream . . .
Russell Edson’s poem The Floor, and more specifically the final phrase “teetering bulbs of dread and dream” is referred to by Douglas R. Hofstadter in his Preface to GEB’s Twentieth-anniversary Edition (Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid, Basic Books inc. 1979-1999. The full sentence, on P-2, is:
What is an “I”, and why are such things found (at least so far) only in association with, as poet Russell Edson once wonderfully phrased it, “teetering bulbs of dread and dream” — that is, only in association with certain kinds of gooey lumps encased in hard protective shells mounted atop mobile pedestals that roam the world on pairs of slightly fuzzy, jointed stilts?