A Poem For Sunday

Andrew Sullivan —  Jun 10 2012 @ 11:32am


"Esthétique du Mal (XV)" by Wallace Stevens:

One might have thought of sight, but who could think
Of what it sees, for all the ill it sees?
Speech found the ear, for all the evil sound,
But the dark italics it could not propound,
And out of what one sees and hears and out
Of what one feels, who could have thought to make
So many selves, so many sensuous worlds,
As if the air, the mid-day air, was swarming
With the metaphysical changes that occur
Merely in living as and where we live.

Continued here. Referencing Stevens' poem, Mary Ruefle contemplates the dread of dying:

I wonder if the young are less afraid of dying, or more afraid of dying, than the old. I am no longer young. I am old enough to understand and know that it is not death I am afraid of, it’s dying. Dying is the act, most often painful, that leads to death, while death itself is as painless as the feeling you had before you were born—no feeling at all, you didn’t care one way or another (feeling is caring one way or another). But what do I know? Blessed Brother André, currently under investigation for sainthood, said, “If we knew the value of suffering, we would ask for it.”

 (Street art in Gorzow, Poland. Photo by Aga Sawala Doberschuetz via Street Art Utopia)