Cam M. Roberts

Cam M. Roberts

"All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail Better." - Samuel Beckett

9 notes

Black on flat water past the jonquil lawns
          Riding, the black swan draws
A private chaos warbling in its wake,
Assuming, like a fourth dimension, splendor
That calls the child with white ideas of swans
          Nearer to that green lake
     Where every paradox means wonder.

Though the black swan’s arched neck is like
          A question-mark on the lake,
The swan outlaws all possible questioning:
A thing in itself, like love, like submarine
Disaster, or the first sound when we wake;
          And the swan-song it sings
     Is the huge silence of the swan.

Illusion: the black swan knows how to break
          Through expectation, beak
Aimed now at its own breast, now at its image,
And move across our lives, if the lake is life,
And by the gentlest turning of its neck
          Transform, in time, time’s damage;
     To less than a black plume, time’s grief.

Enchanter: the black swan has learned to enter
          Sorrow’s lost secret center
Where like a maypole separate tragedies
Are wound about a tower of ribbons, and where
The central hollowness is that pure winter
          That does not change but is
     Always brilliant ice and air.

Always the black swan moves on the lake; always
          The blond child stands to gaze
As the tall emblem pivots and rides out
To the opposite side, always. The child upon
The bank, hands full of difficult marvels, stays
          Forever to cry aloud
     In anguish: I love the black swan.
James Merrill, “The Black Swan

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12 notes

But now he knows these hills, that is to say he knows them better, and if ever again he sees them from afar it will be I think with other eyes, and not only that but the within, all that inner space one never sees, the brain and heart and other caverns where thought and feeling dance their sabbath, all that too quite differently disposed.
Samuel Beckett, Molloy

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4 notes

I can not invent it,
I said it was agate,

I said, it lived, it gave—
fragrance—was near enough

to explain that quality
for which there is no name;

I do not want to name it,
I want to watch its faint

heart-beat, pulse-beat
as it quivers, I do not want

to talk about it,
I want to minimize thought,

concentrate on it
till I shrink,

and am drawn into it.
H.D., Tribute to the Angels [14]

Filed under H.D. Hilda Doolittle Tribute to the Angels Trilogy modernist poetry poetry literature writing quote

7 notes

History has to live with what was here,
clutching and close to fumbling all we had—
it is so dull and gruesome how we die,
unlike writing, life never finishes.
Abel was finished; death is not remote,
a flash-in-the-pan electrifies the skeptic,
his cows crowding like skulls against high-voltage wire,
his baby crying all night like a new machine.
As in our Bibles, white-faced, predatory,
the beautiful, mist-drunken hunter’s moon ascends—
a child could give it a face: two holes, two holes,
my eyes, my mouth, between them a skull’s no-nose—
O there’s a terrifying innocence in my face
drenched with the silver salvage of the mornfrost.
Robert Lowell, “History

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