Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Action of the Beautiful

May Sarton (1912-1994)

I move through my world like a stranger

Where multiple images collide and fall,
Fragments of lakes, eyes.......or a mirror.
How to include, make peace with them all?
Only your face (is this too illusion?)
So poised between silence and speech
Suggests that at the center of confusion
An inward music is just within reach.
Can so much be spoken by an eyelid,
or the bent forehead so much light distill?
Here all is secret and yet nothing hid,
That tenderness, those deep reserves of will.
There is no future, past, only pure presence.
The moment of a glance is brimmed so full
It fuses consciousness to a new balance--
This is the action of the beautiful.
Lakes, mirrors, every broken radiance
Shine whole again in your reflective face,
And I, the stranger, centered in your presence,
Come home and walk into the heart of peace.

from In Time Like Air (1953-1958)


And a poets' poem:

Prayer Before Work

Great one, austere,

By whose intent the distant star
Holds its course clear,
Now make this spirit soar—
Give it that ease.

Out of the absolute
Abstracted grief, comfortless, mute,
Sound the clear note,
Pure, piercing as the flute:
Give it precision.

Austere, great one,
By whose grace the inalterable song
May still be wrested from
The corrupt lung:
Give it strict form.

--May Sarton

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(for erin) when i ask, where have the redpolls gone, and why the silence at my seed station your eyes, unbidden twin candles startle ...

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