Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sumptuous friction

Poetry, Durrell suggests beneath a cypress tree on Rhodes, attempts to provide the link between the muddled inner man with his temporal preoccupations and the uniform flow of the universe outside .. everyone is conscious of these impulses; but the poets are the only people who do not drive them off.

Dry friction of cicada from the palm tree across the road. Eucalyptus leaves breaking their wrists with a small click as they begin to plane down over the tombstones. The maceration of pebbles by seawater, mingling with the noise of coffee being ground, and the shearing noise of a pot being scrubbed. An inventory of sounds from a late morning walk.

Lawrence Durrell belongs to the soul of a people of a natural disposition. Virgil's famous incantation in the Georgics - show me the journey of stars through heaven - is his spontaneously, as in the whispering sweep of a jacket from the shoulders of a welcome guest.


Lawrence Durrell
Reflections on a Marine Venus
  Orientations in Sunlight
  In the Garden of the Villa Cleobolus
Faber & Faber, 1953©


  1. JtB, I hope you have read your share of his travel writing - I imply no doubt of it, the hope comes from how inspiringly he comprehends the sensory resources of our language. I do not believe anyone could fail to experience any thing with his gift, which is to say, English. Merely as a person interested in wine, as we are, we must contemplate the sea's "maceration" of the pebbles as enthrallingly brilliant and apposite, with a grain of humour, too. But we'll see. There will be more Durrell here.