When we allow silence to reclaim those objects and things of the world, when we allow the words to fall away from them – they reassume their own genius, and repossess something of their mystery, their infinite possibility. Then we awaken a little to the realm of the symmetries again, and of no-time, eternity. The poet’s specific talent: when the things of the world (in which we should very much include our own feelings, ideas, and relations with one other) that we have contemplated in this wordless and thoughtless silence reenter the world of asymmetrical concept, of discrete definition, of speech and language – they return as strangers; and then they declare wholly unexpected allegiances, reveal wholly unsuspected valencies. We see the nerve in the bare tree, we hear the applause in the rain. These things are, in other words, redreamt, they are reimagined, they are remade. This I think is the deepest meaning of our etymology as maker. One more point: the poem having been translated from the silence, as my friend Charles Simic puts it, it has briefly kept the company of everything, of all natural things, and its desire to then declare a kinship with those things – to become a beautiful manmade natural object, with the integrity, symmetry and rhythm of the natural – should be no surprise.
Photography by Delaney Allen.