Friday, December 4, 2009

What Form the World Has by William Bronk

I watch my concern for the world, how it changes: strong
sometimes, elsewhere weaker, as when the world
stands in the landscape like somebody's barn, clump
of trees. Not my land they're on. Whose,
I don't know. Or what they are. Nor
do I care. Times, though, I could think
of them as refuge, having no other and they
being offered, not then either caring what.

Or my intensest concern for the world might be
the times I find me trapped, as it were, in the trees,
boarded-up in that barn. Those times,
I hate the world, want only to break it down.

When we love the world for itself, the world we love
is one, most likely, we may have made or thought
to have made, ourselves, with love or some other power.
As if we could. Well, maybe we can
and did, but taken out of our hands when it is
as it always is, do we know was it ever ours?

I could rest content with the unseen form of the world
and never see it, believing the form were there.

2 comments:

sstup said...

I'm not sure that I have much to say about this one on academic level, I think it just articulated a familiar feeling very well for me. I like the image(s) of the world as a barn or a clump of trees, something to see from a distance or be trapped in. I think we do create our own forms, and want to believe this is as unmovable as the clump of trees. Why do we let them be taken away? Can't we own them?

I wish he had expanded this poem a little more. If the world he hates is painted here by a barn and trees, what would have his beloved form looked like?

Storm said...

Nice...form and belief...how would you expand this poem?

This seems a very "American" poem--in the vein of Emerson and Thoreau. For example there is this from Emerson's book Nature:

The charming landscape which I saw this morning, is indubitably made up of some twenty or thirty farms. Miller owns this field, Locke that, and Manning the woodland beyond. But none of them owns the landscape. There is a property in the horizon which no man has but he whose eye can integrate all the parts, that is, the poet. This is the best part of these men's farms, yet to this their warranty-deeds give no title.

There is something of "liberty" to think about here, I'm sure...trappings and self-made prisons of perception.