From the blank page of the Unknown Poet, these words echo back in stony rebuke:
"Some things are best left unsaid and this, being my last, is one of them."
The reader, taken aback, takes the poet to task. "Again you repeat the irrelevance of words amid the ocean's roar as we navigate the beach's darkness by the light of the stars. What is the meaning again of this coincidence of place?"
this and that
The Unknown Poet quotes gravely at last:
Voices, voices. Listen my heart, as only saints
have listened: until the gigantic call lifted them
clear off the ground. Yet they went on, impossibly,
kneeling, completely unawares: so intense was
their listening. Not that you could endure
the voice of God -far from it! But listen
to the voice of the wind and the ceaseless message
that forms itself out of silence.
As dawn comes upon the reader the following words come to mind:
It was her voice that made
The sky acutest at its vanishing.
She measured to the hour its solitude.
She was the single artificer of the world
In which she sang. And when she sang, the sea,
Whatever self it had, became the self
That was her song, for she was the maker. Then we,
As we beheld her striding there alone,
Knew that there never was a world for her
Except the one she sang and, singing, made.
doomed to repeat
"Why?" he wails. "Why must the singing end? What are the order of words that give such flesh to the song?"
this and that
along the strand
here and there
- First Duino Elegy by Rainer Maria Rilke (tr.Albert Ernest Flemming)
- The Idea of Order at Key West by Wallace Stevens