Tuesday, March 13, 2012
The Casual Perfect
Joy and Difficulty
To move freely, to come back early,
to pitch camp on a shingle spit,
to sleep through the coming loose
and so accumulate to one end
while unmaking ourselves at the other
as if it were possible to do this
without drawing on old for new.
– Lavinia Greenlaw
Reading this poem immediately and strongly summoned to my mind Alma-Tadema's 1856 dark and stormy painting known as The Inundation of the Biesbosch. The Casual Perfect contains many other stirring poems as well – including one about the death of Actaeon (which appeared here last year along with several appropriate visual depictions of that cautionary tale from Ovid).