Tuesday, January 27, 2015


I am gigantically fortunate
not to have pursued the re-
solution of my soul, to be-
come a teacher-scholar. I'd
be crediting others highly
for the simple capacity for
amazement. I see it in pos-
tures of virtual squirmings
of extraction, of floppy el-
oquence ascribed to fey but 
fascinated, faintly fetid
puppies, surpassingly hilar-
ious, yet authentically as-
tute. And then I'd remember
the irony of composure among
one's peers, immobilised by
competence. Or does contor-
tion among amateurs prefig-
ure, rather, blogging? The
notion belongs to one of
the naughtiest wits of our
lives, an ornament of the

    To compose
    one reassuring line per day
    to placate our public
    with a positive gesture
    we quite simply
    owe ourselves
    First of all

    we breathe in deeply
    and look into the mirror
    until we like what we see
    we glance around the room
    for a truly insignificant object
    ignored by everyone
    which we gaze at lovingly
    a speck of dust maybe
    that for us represents all galaxies
    As soon as we feel the world to be good
    or even wondrous
    we hurry to our desk
    hold our breath
    and pen our panegyric


Alfred Brendel
One Finger Too Many
Richard Stokes
  assistant in translation
op. cit.

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