Saturday, June 1, 2013

no words

No Words Can Describe It

by Mark Strand

How those fires burned that are no longer, how the weather worsened, how the shadow of the seagull vanished without a trace. Was it the end of a season, the end of a life? Was it so long ago it seems it might never have been? What is it in us that lives in the past and longs for the future, or lives in the future and longs for the past? And what does it matter when light enters the room where a child sleeps and the waking mother, opening her eyes, wishes more than anything to be unwakened by what she cannot name?


  1. Lovely. At this point in life, I'm inclined to think that words, like musical notes and wildflowers, can entertain us to the point of awe, but can never truly describe we lies behind them.

  2. WONderful image, dear Ruth, and...I really like George's response. DITTO.

  3. it's all only hinted at in increments, isn't it? and so we reflect in increments, our increments being words or photographs, art, our way of translating experience, truth.

    i am stuck on the last line of the quote though, ruth. the mother wishes to not be wakened by what she cannot name? am i reading this right? does she want only comfort in ignorance? (surely i must be reading this wrong.) as a young mother awash in the urge to keep safe my children i might have experienced that but now that my children are of the ripe ages of 11 and 13 and i am so different from that intermediate self, i burn to know.

    i understand why you would use such a delicate photograph to illustrate this post. so little in a white flower marks in decisive lines what the flower is and yet it is.



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