The right reader of a good poem can tell the moment it strikes him that he has taken a mortal wound. That he will never get over it.
Robert Frost, in a letter to a friend (1931)
Under the evening sun
dry bread keeps
a taste of the legend
of the wound sustained when the thorn was removed
calms the aroused soul
hamlets appear around the bend
trees make signs
people in black enter a house
the traveller follows the lines
of the ruts in the road with his eyes
the zenith where a star points
does not move.
—Jean Follain, “Journey,” trans. by Heather McHugh
Art Credit René Magritte, La Reconnaissance Infinie, 1963
[…] Accordingly, we are fed a steady diet of reproaches by liberal and misanthropic environmentalists alike about how “we” as a species are responsible for the breakdown of the environment. One does not have to go to enclaves of mystics and gurus in San Francisco to find this species-centered, asocial view of ecological problems and their sources. New York City will do just as well. I shall not easily forget an “environmental” presentation staged by the New York Museum of Natural History in the seventies in which the public was exposed to a long series of exhibits, each depicting examples of pollution and ecological disruption. The exhibit which closed the presentation carried a startling sign, “The Most Dangerous Animal on Earth,” and it consisted simply of a huge mirror which reflected back the human viewer who stood before it. I clearly recall a black child standing before the mirror while a white school teacher tried to explain the message which this arrogant exhibit tried to convey. There were no exhibits of corporate boards of directors planning to deforest a mountainside or government officials acting in collusion with them. The exhibit primarily conveyed one, basically misanthropic, message: people as such, not a rapacious society and its wealthy beneficiaries, are responsible for environmental dislocations – the poor no less than the personally wealthy, people of color no less than privileged whites, women no less than men, the oppressed no less than the oppressor. A mythical human “species” had replaced classes; individuals had replaced hierarchies; personal tastes (many of which are shaped by a predatory media) had replaced social relationships; and the disempowered who live meager, isolated lives had replaced giant corporations, self-serving bureaucracies, and the violent paraphernalia of the State.
(Source: , via sextus--empiricus)
Some say horsemen, some say warriors,
Some say a fleet of ships is the loveliest
Vision in this dark world, but I say it’s
What you love.
When things are troublesome, always remember,
keep an even mind, and in prosperity
be careful of too much happiness:
since my Dellius, you’re destined to die,
whether you live a life that’s always sad,
or reclining, privately, on distant lawns,
in one long holiday, take delight
in drinking your…