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“A single conversation across the table with a wise person is worth a month’s study of books." (Chinese Proverb)

May 25, 2006


Lots of blog-worthy life experiences lately, and no time for blogging…isn’t that always the way. ..

I had an incredibly wonderful conversation yesterday with an old friend. We talked poetry, philosophy, travel, love, friendship, life…for a couple of hours. I filled her in on the dramatic turns in my life in the last 10 months or so. She looked at me, listening intently: ready smile, empathetic eyes, piercing concentration. Her mannerisms are unchanged. Isn’t that refreshing? She is nearly 30…a former teacher of mine, actually. She dispensed more empathy than advice…and shared of her life also.

She gave me the name of a couple of “poet’s poets”: craftspeople, masters of philosophy with a human face…A.R. Ammons, and Elizabeth Bishop. Bishop I have encountered anthologized, by fragments. But I have never sought her out. And I plan to do so now. Ammons was un-experienced by me all together. My friend described his philosophy as exploding with Nietzschean intensity and ideas, only with a human face…bringing the unhinging idea of The Ubermensch to the laypeople, as it were, softer, more approachable… (for an explanation of Nietzsche’s concept of “Ubermensch” or “Overman, Superman, etc.” follow this link: http://personal.ecu.edu/mccartyr/great/projects/Knowles.htm)

This is kind of disjointed information, but here is a poem by A.R. Ammons to get you started, fine reader:

AN IMPROVISATION FOR ANGULAR MOMENTUM
Walking is like
imagination, a
single step
dissolves the circle
into motion; the eye here
and there rests
on a leaf,
gap, or ledge,
everything flowing
except where
sight touches seen:
stop, though, and
reality snaps back
in, locked hard,
forms sharply
themselves, bushbank,
dentree, phoneline,
definite, fixed,
the self, too, then
caught real, clouds
and wind melting
into their directions,
breaking around and
over, down and out,
motions profound,
alive, musical!

Perhaps the death mother like the birth mother
does not desert us but comes to tend
and produce us, to make room for us
and bear us tenderly, considerately,
through the gates, to see us through,
to ease our pains, quell our cries,
to hover over and nestle us, to deliver
us into the greatest, most enduring
peace, all the way past the bother of
recollection,
beyond the finework of frailty,
the mishmash house of the coming & going,
creation’s fringes,
the eddies and curlicues.

from Poetry. Copyright © 1994 by A. R. Ammons

More on all of this stuff later…very exciting.

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