September 2, 2009

September, I remember
A love once new
has now grown old

Bill Fisher, Untitled 3, 2007

Three Poems by Louis Dudek:

Vanished Beauty

‘Art’ is whatever endures, of the past,
and only what is made of durable stuff endures.

But who knows whether things that have happened
—gestures, speech, an embrace—
were not more memorable, more worthy of art,
and yet have perished?

Who knows, but the greatest moments have vanished
without a record?
as our lives have vanished, our youth,
vanished without leaving a trace?

Pure Science

Poetry is a man-made kite
skating on an imaginary sky,
But nobody knows what the sky is
nor why there are kite-makers.

It is also like grandmother’s idea of heaven
that we have learned to do without
Because nobody cooks there,
sleeps with girls, or mints money.

It is a whirling
spark in a vacuum,
And only scientists seem to
enjoy the experiment.


As for democracy, it is not just the triumph
of superior numbers,
but that everyone, continually,
should think and speak the truth.
What freedom is there in being counted among the cattle?
The first right I want is to be a man.
It takes a little courage.
The plain truth, I say, not a few comfortable formulas
that conceal your own special lies;
the simple facts everybody knows
are so, as soon as you bring them to the light.
Democracy is this freedom, this light
shining on the human mind,
in faces, actions—
as the Greeks once carved it in these stones.


Anonymous klipschutz said...

Thanks for introducing me to Louis Dudek's work. Now if I can only get my lazy ass to the library to continue the investigation...

10:11 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home