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Monday, November 22, 2010

Dawn Revisited

(Fields of Grain As Seen from a Train by Arthur Dove,
1880-1944, American Modernist painter)

“For the mind expects, attends, and remembers: what it expects passes, by way of what it attends to, into what it remembers. Would anyone deny that the future is as yet not existent? But in the mind there is already an expectation of the future. Would anyone deny that the past no longer exists? Yet still there is in the mind a memory of the past. Would anyone deny that the present time lacks extension, since it is but a point that passes on? Yet the attention endures, and by it that which is to be, passes on its way to being no more. Thus it is not the future that is long, for the future does not exist: a long future is merely a long expectation of the future; nor is the past long since the past does not exist: a long past is merely a long memory of the past.” ~ Augustine of Hippo (354-430), Confessions


Imagine you wake up
with a second chance. The blue jay
hawks his pretty wares
and the oak still stands, spreading
glorious shade. If you don’t look back

the future never happens.
How good to rise in sunlight,
in the prodigal smell of biscuits —
eggs and sausage on the grill.
The whole sky is yours

to write on, blow open
to a black page. Come on,
shake a leg! You’ll never know
who’s down there, frying those eggs,
if you don’t get up and see.

~ Rita Dove, born 1952, American poet, playwright, and novelist

1 comment:

Barbara Sullivan Mangogna said...

Part 4: Time nd Eternity
"T was just this time last year I died,
I know I heard the corn,
When I was carried by the farms,--
It had the tassels on.

I thought how yellow it would look
When Richard went to mill;
and then I wanted to get out,
but something held my will.

I thought just how red apples wedged
the stubble's joints between;
and carts went stooping round the fields
to take the pumpkins in.

I wondered which would miss me least,
and when Thanksgiving came,
if father'd multiply the plates
to make an even sum.

And if my stocking hung too high,
would it blur the Christmas glee,
that not a Santa Claus could reach
the altitude of me?

But this sort grieved myself, and so
I thought how it would be
when just this time, some perfect year,
Themselves would come to me.
Emily Dickinson