? ?
Weather, Or Not [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

Sounding Night [May. 16th, 2004|05:52 am]
The brief hours of darkness pass, never quite silent. Spring's insect voice vibrates the stillest air. Small wings buzz by, decaying leaves at the base of bushes rustle, and the cricket chorus never ceases. The season will not allow nature to be ignored. In deep winter, a stillness may fall hour upon hour, until the sudden hoot of an owl breaking the silence is as startling as a thunderclap from clear sky. In those nights, it is possible to imagine being utterly alone, and to become lost in that imagining, to create worlds. With spring, my thoughts are constantly informed by the drone of life, and the forest is as present to my mind as would be a busy city street. Unending sound makes even the darkest night take undeniable form, and the world as it is might be laid bare by full sun, so clearly do my ears see it.

Sunday Verse

Flame, speech

by Octavio Paz

I read in a poem:
to talk is divine.
But the gods don't speak:
they make and unmake worlds
while men do the talking.
They play frightening games
without words.

The spirit descends,
loosening tongues,
but doesn't speak words:
it speaks fire.
Lit by a god,
language becomes
a prophesy
of flames and a tower
of smoke and collapse
of syllables burned:
ash without meaning.

The word of man
is the daughter of death.
We talk because we are mortal:
words are not signs, they are years.
Saying what they say,
the words we are saying
say time: they name us.
We are time's names.

The dead are mute
but they also say
what we are saying.
Language is the house
of all, hanging over
the edge of the abyss.
To talk is human.

-translated by Mark Strand

And one more, (also by Octavio Paz,) as I think it fits well with the first, and because it is one of my favorite short poems ever:

Epitaph for no stone

Mixcoac was my village. Three nocturnal syllables,
a half-mask of shadow across a solar face.
Clouds of dust came and ate it.
I escaped and walked through the world.
My words were my house, air my tomb.