Monday, August 17, 2009


Delusion? -- No!

In atmosphere almost too heavenly
Pure for nourishment of earthbound
Bone, or bone-borne flesh, I stood,
At last past sweat and swink, at crag-edge. Felt
My head swell like the sky that knew
No distance, and knew no sensation but blueness.

In that divine osmosis I stood
And felt each discrete and distinct stroke
Of the heart as it downward fled--
Cliff, cleft, gorge, chasm, and, far off,
Ravine cut in the flattening but still high glitter
Of earth. I saw afar the peek-a-boo of some stream's gleam.

Mind plays strange tricks on us.
One moment I felt the momentous, muscular thrust
Skyward of peak, then the thumb-and-forefinger twist
Of range on range. I entered in.
Was part of all. I knew the
Glorious light of inner darkness burn
Like the fundamental discovery.

Yes, stretch forth your arms like wings, and from your high stance,
Hawk-eyed, ride forth upon the emptiness of air, survey
Each regal contortion
And tortuous imagination of rock, wind, water, and know
Your own the power creating all.

Delusion? -- No! For Truth has many moments.

Open your eyes. Who knows? This may be one.

Robert Penn Warren


Anonymous said...

Delusion parades as truth, truth as delusion;
interpretation is the two-way bridge that at once confirms and nullifies the other;
the telling is in the whim of the moment that speaks nothing of everything and everything of nothing;
and whims are like maggots to flies – herein lies the birth that sucks the tragedy out of life only to tragedise life in the continuum of truths;
delusion makes a permanence of whims and thus fuels the continuum.

Retriever said...

Anon, your reflections more interesting than the poem. that maggots flies thing was good. Warren not my thing.

Novalis said...

Perhaps the concept of delusion requires Truth even to make sense. If there is no Truth, there is no delusion either, merely the flotsam and jetsam of ideology (which seems to be where our political discourse is heading).

Retriever, you surprise me, I didn't realize your omnivorousness had limits. Yet a supervising psychiatrist declared to me many years ago that there is no such thing as an uninteresting patient, as each has his unique story and lesson. Surely poets and poems are the same. (I didn't believe him then though, and I'm not sure whether I do now).