Printer Friendly

The Writer Over the Page Is Driven Down But Like a Robin by a Worm.

The Writer Over the Page Is Driven Down
But Like a Robin by a Worm

   script gravitates, poem leaping
   at dark ladders,
   --urgency of pursuit--critical
   mass once reached, one
   Ovids, pursuit slights how
   bodies change--they do--
   --sleight of hand, trompe l'oeil,
   Arethusa in a cloud of mist,
   what lamb feels when wolf's jaws
   rip shed door--
   Alpheus persists birdily, footprints
   into mist--she sweats, sweat streams
   a spring watering away
   underground--we need
   to witness our own limits
   transgressed--urgency ruptures
   --who had been running
   seemed flying--and were

MS Fragment: 8--Date: ca. 1425-1450--Origin: France (possibly Paris)-- Current Location: Marriott Library, University of Utah, Special Collections, Rare Book Division--Materials: Ink, and burnished gold on vellum--Size: 7 1/4 in. x 5 3/16 in.--Illustration: Detail, border--Section: Office of the Dead, Vespers --Script: littera gothicatextualis

   lit border
   buoys--acanthus
   place setting
   scribe sets--rinceaux
   sprays, gilded ivy leaf,
   bryony tendrils, gold pave
   fleur-de-lis--heliotropic
   buoyancy--motor cells in
   the pulvinus synthesize
   bouncing light, convert
   eye movement, displace
   page's gravitropic
   polar auxin transport--
   downwarding becomes lift

Codex: Ibid., Book of Hours of the Virgin--Section: Suffrages of the Saints --Page: 127 verso--Illustration: St. Catherine, crowned, holding sword and book (Detail)

   lit vellum
   opens channel--page surface
   veil through which
   vision crosses into
   illuminations--
   --not window into--
   --paneless plane broken--
   picture's penetrative
   thrust--vertiginal verging,
   verge in--e.g. Catherine
   of Cleves' Hours, Nicholas's
   suffrage--border as if vellum
   melting, pie crust
   revealing saint--hole pulls
   us through--Sancta
   Katherina holds sword
   dimensionally adrift from
   matching fly--nothing
   unlike the sun can see it
   horae for laity--forwhomness
   interpolates reader--but page
   imagines beyond us,
   conjures presence left
   behind bypassing
   other--imaged, Lazarus
   rises again--logos' traceable ghost
   in the breath--grace--
      --if Menalcas' lover cuts her
   feet on the Rhine's jagged ice,
   he will carve letters into
   little trees--pastoral
   obliterates itself--his voice will grow
   as they do--
          --to fresh woods
   and pastures new--Arcadia is
   an interval--Elysium an interval--
   so is any island--the page
   no abiding place--we pass
   through--we go
COPYRIGHT 2015 Witness
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2015 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Babbitt, Geoffrey
Publication:Witness
Article Type:Poem
Date:Mar 22, 2015
Words:317
Previous Article:Reading Faust in Shimoda.
Next Article:None: homoeoteleutonic, scribal error transcription of Revelations 7.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2021 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |