Monday, October 3, 2011
(Couple Dancing by Eadweard Muybridge, 1830-
1904, English pioneer in photographing motion;
his work influenced the art of Marcel Duchamp)
Robert Frost wrote this sonnet on the occasion of his daughter’s wedding.
It captures “the togetherness of the married couple empowered to resist the flux of wind and water. Frost is not the first to use the language of speed or quickness to show how love may quicken the life of a couple into a vitality that far exceeds what each partner might attain alone. But Frost also plays on the archaic meaning of ‘speed,’ ‘prosperity or success in an undertaking,’ as well as on its Latin root, spes, meaning ‘hope,’ to point to the possibility of rest within motion, permanence within change, the eternal within the perishable.”
~ Amy A. Kass and Leon R. Kass, from Wing to Wing, Oar to Oar: Readings on Courting and Marriage
THE MASTER SPEED
No speed of wind or water rushing by
But you have speed far greater. You can climb
Back up a stream of radiance to the sky,
And back through history up the stream of time.
And you were given this swiftness, not for haste,
Nor chiefly that you may go where you will,
But in the rush of everything to waste,
That you may have the power of standing still —
Off any still or moving thing you say.
Two such as you with master speed
Cannot be parted nor be swept away
From one another once you are agreed
That life is only life forevermore
Together wing to wing and oar to oar.
~ Robert Frost (1874-1963), American poet