Crooked Finger (crookedfingers) wrote,
Crooked Finger

  • Mood:

to find there lines that take such flight from the world that the sight of it is wholly lost

"But in them, comprising them-as the atoms the molecule, the molecule the compound-there are more sentences than people alive in this world, sentences that exhibit a range of savors surpassing your spice rack. Anyone who looks with care into the good books shall find in them fine sentences of every length, on every imaginable subject expressing the entire range of thoughts and feelings possible, in styles both as unified and various as the colors of the spectrum; and sentences that take such notice of the world that the world seems visible in their pages, palpable, too, so a reader might fear to touch those paragraphs concerned with conflagrations or disease or chicanery lest they be victimized, inflected, or burned; yet such sentences as make the taste of sweet earth and fresh air-things that seem ordinarily without an odor or at all attractive to the tongue-as desirable as wine to sip or lip to kiss to bloom to smell; for instance this observation from a poem of Elizabeth Bishop's: "Greenish-white dogwood infiltrated the wood, each petal burned, apparently, by a cigarette butt"-well, she's right; go look-or this simile for style, by Marianne Moore: "It is as though the equidistant three tiny arcs of seeds in a banana had been conjoined by Palestrina"- peel the fruit, make the cut, scan the score, hear the harpsichord transform these seeds into music (you can eat the banana later); yet also, as you read these innumerable compositions, to find there lines that take such flight from the world that the sight of it is wholly lost, and, as Plato and Plotinus urge, that reach a height where only the features of the spirit, of mind and its dreams, the pure formations of an algebraic absolute, can be made out; for the o's in the phrase "good books" are like owl's eyes, watchful and piercing and wise." pg. 10 "The Temple Of Texts" essay To a Young Friend Charged with Possession of the Classic by William H. Gass

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