Trick of the Light

It is a poem ostensibly about deer feeding on roses. So you wonder how the ending came to be. How the lantern came to hold a place as an image for the house you grew up in.

And that which comes alight, the house you grew up in: sometimes it is a lantern small enough to carry before you in one hand.

We get to this ending after passing over some remarks on the beauty of the household versus the beauty of the field. And it seems with this lantern ending that the demarcation gives way. The light seems a thing of beauty belonging neither to household nor to field. And the question arises about who the light is for. Its illumination is limited by its size. This is not a beacon. It is akin to a spark. One recalls the story of the blind man given a lantern (see Paul Reps, Zen Flesh, Zen Bones). But there is no blind person here. No extinguished light. Just the miracle of metaphor whereby a whole house through imagination becomes palm-sized. All alit.

Hand. Lantern. House.

The poem is called “Folklore” and is collected in The Whole Night, Coming Home by Roo Borson.

And so for day 1083
30.11.2009

This entry was posted in Poetry. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.