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Archive for July, 2008

In My Observatory Withdrawn

To whatever face
Real or passionately imagined I turn up my eyes,
It is the Beloved who hears among her stars.

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I recently made a comment in a workshop that a poet’s voice seemed exposed in a poem. I was trying to relate to the class what I was hearing in the poem based on voice training I’ve received.

In music, a singer’s voice is more exposed when the voice has no music beneath it. Acapella singing, for example, is all voice and no music. That’s the most exposure a voice can receive. (more…)

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A brother asked an old man, “What thing is there so good that I may do it and live?” And the old man said,”God alone knows what is good …. (more…)

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Forehead

I love you
I know as much as anything
for your courage
so companionably invisible
as it is
that it passes mostly
as simple
good sense. (more…)

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Horizon Note

The writing in Robin Behn’s poem On Giving My Father a Book about Roses seems cut and paste from random thoughts. She begins with a drawing of a child then moves to a horse and on to a picture of a rose on a page. She shifts from one subject to another much like an Alzheimer’s victim shifts from one subject to another in his mind. The man in this poem has Alzheimer’s. He can speak of roses but cannot remember his daughter’s name. His face becomes scarlet in embarrassment when he asks. He has no chart, no book to tell him.

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Mysticism

Evelyn Underhill’s book Mysticism, published in 1911, does a better job than any I’ve seen on describing the psychology and temperament of the mystic. I include excerpts of the book here.

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An excerpt from Gaston’s Bachelard’s book The Poetics of Space:

At the end of his book, Philippe Diolé concludes that “to go down into the water, or to wander in the desert, is to change space,” and by changing space, by leaving the space of one’s usual sensibilities, one enters into communication with a space that is psychically innovating.

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