Thursday, August 22, 2013

Advice to Rememberers


Do not face in terror that tragic past:
go to it gently, softly, but bravely go;
remember him, whom you know, your lonely I.
Make visions. Fix on them a decent light;
do not addle them in a mysterious mist,
or confuse them with exaggeration,
or amaze with heroical intrigue,
or sweeten with fine inexactitude;
or invent, with great strain of mind, theories,
grand designs of curves or circles, whorls
which ever, as if a time, I wouldn't doubt,
as uncivil as our own should advise;
let not the decent light be too sharp,
as if the mind were not already enough strained,
nor too dim with the heaviness of storms,
as if the heart were not already half-numb;
not luscious amber, not gaudy green,
blue, blackish-blue, black or sullen red,
but honest light, simply quietly honest.
Not a lot of theory for stumbling around,
not a lot of tricky design
from whose technique are yanked abstractions
grand, or not grand, depending on their time,
principles arbitrary now as ever;
or confuse with exaggeration or amaze with heroics or
sweeten with inexactitude,
but set your clear eye on what really transpired.
Be child of clear eyes, and don't listen
when they want to teach you to look
above around beyond the blossoms to measure the root.
I got too smart for the blossoms and went
around bent over searching out roots, and I got so
smart that when my first vision of beauty came
she looked so complicated and grand I left her standing
there talking to herself when all I had to do is extend
this trembling hand…

That's all. Are you telling me you can't look
with clear eyes? Or don't know what that means?
Be honest and when beauty shows
in the most odd and loony places
you'll be ready and not stand there stunned with your heart
in you throat, embarrassed, and walk away.

Date: 2013-08-22T06:33-0400

Author: Paul Gigas

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