“Learn of the green world what can be thy place”
The ant’s a centaur in his dragon world.
Pull down thy vanity, it is not man
Made courage, or made order, or made grace,
Pull down thy vanity, I say pull down.
Learn of the green world what can be thy place
In scaled invention or true artistry,
Pull down thy vanity,
Paquin pull down!
The green casque has outdone your elegance.
— Ezra Pound, from Canto LXXXI
I thought of these lines today as I walked through the National Gallery, looking at some of my
favourite paintings: the Pisanello I used to visit weekly during the three months I lived in
London when I was 21 —
— about which I had a very sweet correspondence with John Fowles; a few others; thought of them while listening to a cello and piano duo in St. Martin-in-the-Fields, true artists again; and even while trying to figure out how this guy simply stood in mid-air in Trafalgar Square:
And somehow I thought I need now to do the same — to try to summon the courage to to do the difficult thing, which is the art itself. Not the talking about it but the quiet work. To learn of the green world. So I won’ t be posting for awhile. Maybe never. I’ll continue to update the news page as readings and other events are confirmed — a reading at UBC Okanagan this summer, a few others when Patrin is published in the fall. But anything else seems a bit too much like a strange species of vanity right now.