This poem, which opens Montale's volume Le Occasioni, seems to comment on
several of the assertions people have been making on this thread. There is
a historical-political aspect - it was written during the Mussolini era.
It seemed child's play
to change the void yawning before me
into nothingness, your certain fire
into tedious uncertainty.
Now to that nothingness I have bound
my every sluggish motive,
that arduous void blunts my yearning
to serve you while I live.
You have no eyes for any life
but that shimmering you alone can see.
You lean out toward it
from this window, now unlit.
(tr. Wm. Arrowsmith)
I have trouble thinking of poetry as either a redundancy, or as exceeding
meaning. Nor do I think of meaning as comfortable. Nor as the difference
of shifting signifiers. But poetry is many things at the same time to
many people. . .