I think the social-political aspect is a free-floating one, since I believe
this kind of expression transcends "worldly" current events (although there
is _that_ balcony). Here's one of mine, written a few months back
(December), and I guess some part of its origin can be traced to
the-everything-going-on-all-around, although I tend to consider it more
free-floating, more of an approach to reach out to that anonymous author of
The Cloud Of Unknowing, than something written on the brink of the third
century of the empire of these United States:
The uncertainty of reality
hasn't any blueprint
or stanchion of its own
but it's what we hold
as firewall against
whatever to compare,
contrast, accept or
not accept. There may
be an instance before
we learn of it there's
simply nothing there.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Henry Gould" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, March 14, 2002 8:29 AM
Subject: Re: "Contains"
> 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
> a historical-political aspect - it was written during the Mussolini era.
> THE BALCONY
> 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. . .