“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.

4 thoughts on ““Learn of the green world what can be thy place””

  1. Ah, ‘the quiet work’, yes. But, selfishly, I hope you’ll pop in from time to time. I’ll miss the glimpses of your garden, the connections you make for me from one thing to another, the attention you pay to the world. Still, I’ll happily think of you doing the work. I know you have the courage.

    1. Thank you, Sarah. It just feels like a time to be private and focus on the work of bringing the threads of an idea, a series of ideas, together. And now that I’m home after five weeks away, I have a sense of how to write a particular long piece that’s been in tatters for a year or so. A crazy quilt, a patchwork.

  2. Theresa, sometimes I think of the time my blog takes and wonder if I should stop too. I understand the impulse to draw in your horns. But … I agree with Sarah above, will miss you and hope to read you again. Selfishly.

    1. Thanks, Beth. It’s always lovely to know there are people out there who do read the postings and enjoy them, as I enjoy yours (and Sarah’s…). But I have some work to do right now which seems to require a more private kind of musing, if you know what I mean. Let’s see how long it lasts.

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