Friday, March 20, 2015

Imagining His First Letter (1951)

Imagination is the chief speculative instrument -- that is, a powerful idea

to think with as well as about...

                                               A. Richards

A bird badgers the air

with its sorrow

embedded somewhere, in something.


The bracket of a porch.

The branch of a pine.

The case of an instrument

lifted out -- that lets me perceive

his fountain pen

gliding left to right and back again.


A suite of sentences

moving  as a train through mountains,

the moon fading

like a lover's locket near dawn.

a  koel haunting the wind  

with  her with rain-swollen song.


The green storm

coming as spring, as soldiers to the valley.

The peasant mouth of Kapyong.

I don't know really where this one came from  except to say a mix of things. First, I did hear that lamenting sound of a bird coming from somewhere in the near vicinity of my house. Secondly, Jim and I had watched Nicole Kidman and Clive Owen in a movie about the relationship between Hemmingway and female writer/correspondent, Martha Gellhorn. And though, they did break up by 1945, they both continued to cover wars. And I guess I thought of someone like her, away from a great writer (whom she once loved), imagining what kind of letter he might still write to her from the war front. And thirdly, I really wanted to expand on that quote by A. Richards. Where as, imagination is an instrument we lift out of a case to use and play. Like a cello, its diverse strings allow us to imagine the intensity, the poetry of an experience or event. What impels us to take it out could be the real cry of that bird whose echo sits on the edge of its case. In nature, there is so much stimuli and though most of it is random, sometimes it could be deliberate or fateful.

No comments: