I didn’t make these verses because I wanted to rival that fellow, or his poems, in artistry—I knew that wouldn’t be easy—but to test what certain dreams of mine might be saying and to acquit myself of any impiety, just in case they might be repeatedly commanding me to make this music.—Plato, Phaedo
Viewed from space, the Chilean volcano blooms.
I cannot see it. It’s a problem of scale. History—the branch
of knowledge dealing with past events; a continuous,
systematic narrative of; aggregate deeds; acts, ideas, events
that will shape the course of the future; immediate
but significant happenings; finished, done with—“he’s history.”
Calbuco: men shoveling ash from the street.
Third time in a week. And counting.
Infinite antithesis. Eleven
miles of ash in the air. What to call it—
just “ash.” They flee to Ensenada.
The power of motives does not proceed directly from the will—
a changed form of knowledge. Wind pushing
clouds toward Argentina. Knowledge is merely involved.
Ash falls, it is falling, it has fallen. Will fall. Already flights
cancelled in Buenos Aires. I want to call it snow—
what settles on the luma trees, their fruit black, purplish black,
soot-speckled, hermaphroditic—if this book is unintelligible
and hard on the ears—the oblong ovals of its leaves.
Amos, fragrant. Family name Myrtus. The wood is extremely hard.
Ash falling on the concrete, falling on cars, ash
on the windshields, windows, yards. They have lost
all sense of direction. They might as well be deep
in a forest or down in a well. They do not comprehend
the fundamental principles. They have nothing in their heads.
The dream kept
urging me on to do
what I was doing—
to make music—
in my view, is
the greatest music.
History—from the Greek historía, learning or knowing by inquiry.
Historein (v.) to ask. The asking is not idle. From the French histoire, story.
Hístor (Gk.) one who sees. It is just a matter of what we are looking for.