Click on the pictures to see enlarged versions of the images.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Perfection Wasted

(Ruins of the eleventh-century Reefert Church, with
its cross and graves, Glendalough, Ireland; the name
comes from Righ Fearta, “royal burial place.”)


And another regrettable thing about death
is the ceasing of your own brand of magic
which took a whole life to develop and market —
the quips, the witticisms, the slant
adjusted to a few, those loved ones nearest
the lip of the stage, their soft faces blanched
in the footlight glow, their laughter close to tears,
their tears confused with their diamond earrings,
their warm pooled breath in and out with your heartbeat,
their response and your performance twinned.
The jokes over the phone. The memories packed
In the rapid-access file. The whole act.
Who will do it again? That’s it: no one;
imitators and descendants aren’t the same.

~ John Updike (1932-2009), American poet, novelist, and critic

No comments: