Friday, December 01, 2006

"Dans le doute, mon cher, abstiens-toi." [1]

There are some days when events work themselves out with almost mathematical precision. It is 1 December and winter is blowing in as I write. And all the loose strands of November tie up nicely, with a head cold as denouement. My words wouldn't begin to describe the mood, this moment requires poetry:

Whoever has no house now, will never have one.
Whoever is alone will stay alone,
will sit, read, write long letters through the
and wander the boulevards, up and down,
restlessly, while the dry leaves are blowing.[2]

In the huge gap
between the flash

and the thunderstroke
spring has come in
or a deep snow fallen.

Call it old age[3]

No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous-
Almost, at times, the Fool.

I grow old... I grow old...
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.[4]

Betwixt the stirrup and the ground
Mercy I asked, mercy I found.[5]

[1] "When in doubt, my dear friend, do nothing." General Kutuzov from Tolstoy's War and Peace
[2] Rainer Maria Rilke
[3] William Carlos Williams (forgive me but I can't get the spacing correctly in blogger)
[4] Eliot, of course.
[5] William Camden