Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Day 951: Epilogue

This poem featured in the book 'All The Bright Places' which I've just finished reading (but have  not finished mulling over - utterly heartbreaking and thought-provoking.) And this poem has so much food for thought - what do we leave behind us when we die? How is art a measure of what was lived? If we are just 'facts' of existence, how can there be personalities, how do we matter? Do our stories count?

Epilogue - Robert Lowell

Those blessèd structures, plot and rhyme—
why are they no help to me now
I want to make
something imagined, not recalled?
I hear the noise of my own voice:
The painter’s vision is not a lens,
it trembles to caress the light.
But sometimes everything I write   
with the threadbare art of my eye
seems a snapshot,
lurid, rapid, garish, grouped,
heightened from life,
yet paralyzed by fact.
All’s misalliance.
Yet why not say what happened?
Pray for the grace of accuracy
Vermeer gave to the sun’s illumination
stealing like the tide across a map
to his girl solid with yearning.
We are poor passing facts,
warned by that to give
each figure in the photograph
his living name.


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