Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Afternoons Redeemed

An irritating afternoon made messy by PRs and television producers was suddenly redeemed by the receipt of a book - The Landscapist by Pierre Martory, translated by John Ashbery. The book fell open at a poem called The Return of the Birds, the second half of which I now quote to redeem all your afternoons. For copyright purposes I claim fair use, abject admiration and gratitude.
'And a thousand tongues
Chatter in the gathering night
Commenting on the journey and
The sanctuary found at last
And a thousand tiny brains
Who never knew that tree that night
And still found it as we come back
Perhaps always to the first stupor
Happy without knowing what happiness is
Knowing we are there where we don't know where we are.'


  1. I like that line "Happy without knowing what happiness is".

    Happiness is like that. It's a metaphysical conundrum.

  2. My God, I like "Perhaps always to the first stupor." Rus, Thank you so much for posting this. I think fair use it is as this educational blog has turned at least one reader (me) to the poem and the poet.


  3. Oh, sorry, Bryan, I linked here from Rus Bowden's Poetry and Poets in Rags--thought I was commenting there. The thanks I see go to you.
    So thanks.