I’m still sitting in the fragrance of the excerpted passages from the Francis Clines article that I posted earlier this week. This visual image for example has a powerful persistence for me:

For his opening classes at Harvard, Heaney usually prescribes selections from East European poets, stark verse that is hardly the language of bogus comfort, but is ”antipoetry, a kind of wiresculpture poetry,” in which he finds that ”the density of the unspoken thing is where the meaning lies.”

So, from a volume of poems by Polish poet Adam Zagajewski, here’s a journey into the wiresculptured view.

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My Aunts

Always caught up in what they called
the practical side of life
(theory was for Plato),
up to their elbows in furniture, in bedding,
in cupboards and kitchen gardens,
they never neglected the lavender sachets
that turned a linen closet to a meadow.

The practical side of life,
like the Moon’s unlighted face,
didn’t lack for mysteries;
when Christmastime drew near,
life became pure praxis
and resided temporarily in hallways,
took refuge in suitcases and satchels.

And when somebody died–it happened
even in our family, alas–
my aunts, preoccupied
with death’s practical side,
forgot at last about the lavender,
whose frantic scent bloomed selflessly
beneath a heavy snow of sheets.
Don’t just do something, sit there.
And so I have, so I have,
the seasons curling around me like smoke,
Gone to the end of the earth and back without sound.

(Translated by Clare Cavanagh)