Monday, October 24, 2005

Precision, flattened leaves, "horrible day"

I read, in one of Mallarme's most famous poems:
La sens trop precis rature
Ta vague litterature.

(I can't find accents, I'm afraid).

It translates approximately: "A meaning too precise destroys the mystery of what you write". This makes sense to me where poetry is concerned, but not prose. I will take pleasure in thinking about it.

The leaves "yellow and black and pale and hectic red" are not driven by the wild west wind today "as though from an enchanter fleeing", but are instead flattened on the wet pavement in patterns such as you might find in a textile factory.

A man passes me in the park with the words "horrible day". I say "yes", without thinking in the warm, wet and blustery wind. Then I think, "no, not all: there are far, far worse days."

1 comment:

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