Monday, April 19, 2010

"dark, salt, clear, moving, utterly free"

If you should dip your hand in,
your wrist would ache immediately,
your bones would begin to ache and your hand would burn
as if the water were a transmutation of fire
that feeds on stones and burns with a dark gray flame.
If you tasted it, it would first taste bitter,
then briny, then surely burn your tongue.
It is like what we imagine knowledge to be:
dark, salt, clear, moving, utterly free,
drawn from the cold hard mouth
of the world, derived from the rocky breasts
forever, flowing and drawn, and since
our knowledge is historical, flowing, and flown.

From "At the Fishhouses" by Elizabeth Bishop.

The Wave, Gustave Courbet, 1870


ScentScelf said...

I keep checking in, admiring the art, pausing, thinking...and then leaving without saying anything.

I think that's generally because you prompt such good "thinks," that I'm not quite ready in that moment to respond.

So I will offer up one of my occasional "thank you" messages in lieu of any other communication. (Thank you.)

BitterGrace said...

You're welcome. I am grateful to hear that the blog gives pleasure.

Aimée L'Ondée said...

That's one of my very favorite poems. Thanks for posting such inspiring words and images!

dissed said...

That is . . . I don't know. Something. But I want more. Thank you.