Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Notes on the poem I just posted

If anyone sees a book by Nooteboom in local bookstores, please let me know? Can't find him anywhere and English translations of his work in cyberspace elude me.

I like the rhythm of This Is How It Could Be, how it transforms from a narrative prose into a haiku-like stack of words.

There are various motifs occurring within this very short poem, too. For example, there's a descending motion throughout: the raindrops, the plane, the bottom of a dream, the mailman retreating down the hill, and finally the form of the poem itself mirrors this. There are also references to units of time in the form of raindrops, moments, letters, words - by which we measure life.

And, there is that wonderful phrase, "the fat of time" - time fattens itself at our expense.

I was reminded of that famous passage from The Tempest when I first read this poem:

Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp'd tow'rs, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on; and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

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