13 jul. 2004

I can't speak so
simply of whatever
was then
the fashion

of silence
everyone's-- Blue
expansive morning
and in

the lilac bush just
under window
farm house
spaces all

the teeming chatter
of innumerable birds--
I'd lie quiet
trying

to go to sleep late
evenings in summer
such buzzes settling
twitters

of birds--The relatives
in rooms underneath
me murmuring--
Listened hard to catch

faint edges of sounds
through blurs of fading
spectrum now out
there forever.

I just re-discovered this extraordinary Creeley poem, entitled simply "Silence." (From Life & Death).
To listen to this poem is to re-enact the poet's own act of listening.
One must listen hard!

I memorized the poem last night and wrote it down this morning. I made several
mistakes in lineation, only a few in the actual words of the poem.

There are 19th-century echoes in the poem, "the murmuring of innumerable bees."
Keats' twittering swallows. And echoes of earlier doctrine of the "music of the spheres."

A few cases of syntactic ambiguity caused by the lineation: is it "farm house spaces all" or "all the teeming chatter"? There's always that deliberate Creeley strategic awkwardness.

You realize the word "fashion" is deceptive here. It has to do with making, fashioning, not merely with what is in fashion.

Is chatter a hindrance to true listening, or can one listen to the chatter and
find a sort of music there?