NOTES ON ANOTHER MARRIAGE
Isn’t it strange how migratory birds always recognize the same patch of land after a thousand miles of flight? How new generations recognize the landscape sight unseen, as if templates of land and, more importantly, tradition, were imprinted genetically? Consistency here becomes a practical virtue, and continuity necessary for survival.
In an age of cynicism, when continuity is ostracised as slow, how do any of us dare pick out of the wilderness a value or a mate of any lasting nature? While the sonnet is one-sentence question, I hope an answer is implied. That is, birds DO, after all, find their way back to our yards. The impossible happens often in nature.
It is an illusion that the sonnet poses a question; in fact, it gives the impression of an answer. The language of the poem similarly combines sensations to produce the IMPRESSION of sense, while what is actually being explored is mystery. Images criss-cross, or cross-dress, so that faces and lakes, curls and pearls mix around in a rational stew whose purpose is to prove the irrational.
Only emotion can validate emotion, as only metaphor can try to prove the unprovable. In this guise, avenues of wind become threats to the continuity of love; waves and means become other directions or people who might intrude on love. Meadows, land, lakes, and oyster beds become synonymous with the body, mind, face, and home of a lover.
Hearth is pitted against against chaos in contemporary society. What is current is naturally chaotic; retrospect reduces it and history simplifies it into brilliant shades of order. Nature, on the other hand, resolves its problems simply, scientifically, and unquestionably. I would like one day to be as smart as my genes.
I am advocating a sort of inverted pathetic fallacy here, I suppose. Instead of bending nature into an imitation of my own mood, I might enjoy taking my cue from natural processes. It is a rhythm that every hiker, skier, and climber has felt. And we in turn take no less pleasure from the rhythm of our own limitations, of our own limitations. The limits of form do not confine; they perfect; they refine.