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Saturday, 6 November 2010

Weekly Wisdom from Mr. Trollope

''In politics one should always look forward,'' he said, as he held up to the light the glass of old port which he was about to sip; ''in real life it is better to look back, if one has anything to look back at.''


The idea of milk or snow
if it could be warm and brought inside
to rest on the hinges of children's books.
His face,clean like pantomime,
painted extraordinary, but delicate:
white, shadow, and red
lips, but eyes, those eyes,
different as they approached, 
worn slightly, and too beautiful.
It's painful, this resting image--too beautiful--
only seen in myself by other eyes, I imagine.
Glorious rest, a sleeping memory and reflection, 
folded lines, soft, thick, and cool,
like touching the thought of milk or snow if it could be warm.
Beauty recognized in youth, I couldn't have drawn it better
though it has drawn me.  Left me to look upon what stirs admiration, 
what conquers hearts in sleeping states, as only I have done.
There is no doing in this, more painful still;
it exists like the hinges of a children's book
written on me, me, and you, you too.  Staring
into the face of my sleeping story, stolen and owned,
I closed my eyes.  How do you follow what is followed,
acquire what is had? How to parry, how to catch that
which I myself with escape with.