Saturday, September 03, 2011

A really interesting passage from a long poem: "Outremer" by Fanny Howe, up on PoFo:


There has been a phenomenon,
known only to a few, in certain high mountains,
called the Brocken Specter. It shows the magnified form
of a person woven into lower mists.
This voluminous human figure takes on a trinitarian shape,
and the head of it is surrounded by glory, a rain halo.
The figure looms in the sky, moves forward towards you
and then evaporates and is gone.
It bears an astonishing resemblance to visions of the Christ.
But it can all be explained by sun streaks
shooting towards an anti-solar spot,
and the projection of your own shadow upon the mist.
Your shadow is the looming figure,
and the sun forms the halo in the soft rain.

I think the supernatural is all the more wonderful
when it is natural; it can be analyzed from so many angles.


and from later in the poem . . .

People want to be poets for reasons
that have little to do with language.
It is the life of the poet that they want, I think.
Even the glow of loneliness and humiliation.
To walk in the gutter with a bottle of wine.
Noetic monasticism.

Some people’s lives are more poetic than a poem,
and Francis is the proof of this.
I know, because he walked at my side for a short time.


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