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Friday, August 11, 2006

Monet's Waterlilies

Today as the news from Selma and Saigon
poisons the air like fallout,
I come again to see
the serene, great picture that I love.

Here space and time exist in light
the eye like the eye of faith believes.
The seen, the known
dissolve in iridescence, become
illusive flesh of light
that was not, was, forever is.

O light beheld as through refracting tears.
Here is the aura of that world
each of us has lost.
Here is the shadow of its joy.

Robert Hayden

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

How is this poetry--you could map it out as a paragraph from some tourist's diary.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure which tourist would write about Saigon and Selma and then about walking into the MOMA and finding relief in "the serene, great picture that I love."

This is reflexive poetry, a writer creating art by talking about art--a powerful statement about the restorative influence of art upon mankind.
Another writer may have said "after hearing the news from Selma and Saigon I punched a hole in the wall" or "I went shopping" (so American!) or "I pulled the drapes and spent the weekend under the covers of my cozy bed."
No--this poet seeks a place where "space and time exist in light."
This poem exemplifies the power of art communicating from one generation to the next.
The simple answer/solution to conflict--THINK. about peace doggone it!