Sometimes someone will knock and ask her to post poems more frequently.
She also leaves the names of poets on my answering machine in the tones of someone speaking of a lover. Which, of course they are.
You can hear the rustling of paper. To make you long for a particular book you used to have.
When I call her, she will say: “Listen to this line….”
She is also building a garden. That is how I met her: she was poring over a catalogue of exquisite rose varieties.
Jane, come away from the edge of the city and live near me!
Love Calls Us to The Things of This World
Richard Wilbur, American, 1921-2017. From Collected Poems, 1943-2004
The eyes open to a cry of pulleys,
And spirited from sleep, the astounded soul
Hangs for a moment bodiless and simple
Summer, 1546/48, oil on canvas, and detail. Jacopo Tintoretto, 1518/19-1594, Venetian. National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
As false dawn.
Outside the open window
The morning air is all awash with angels.
Angel mannequins made by the National Gallery of Art, Washtington, DC to display a technique of Jacopo Tintoretto, 1518/19-1594
Some are in bed-sheets, some are in blouses
Some are in smocks: but truly there they are.
Now they are rising together in calm swells
Of halcyon feeling, filling whatever they wear
With the deep joy of their impersonal breathing;
Now they are flying in place, conveying
The terrible speed of their omnipresence, moving
And staying like white water; and now of a sudden
They swoon down into so rapt a quiet
That nobody seems to be there.
The soul shrinks
From all that it is about to remember,
From the punctual rape of every blessèd day
“Oh, let there be nothing on earth but laundry,
Nothing but rosy hands in the rising steam
And clear dances done in the sight of heaven.”
Untitled (The Dancers), 1944, oil on canvas. Stanley William Hayter, 1901-1988, English. Promised gift to the Philadelphia Art Museum
Yet, as the sun acknowledges
With a warm look the world’s hunks and colors,
The soul descends once more in bitter love
To accept the waking body, saying now
Hallucie, 1998, screenprint. Sigmar Polke, 1941-2010, German. MOMA, NY
In a changed voice as the man yawns and rises,
“Bring them down from their ruddy gallows;
Let there be clean linen for the backs of thieves;
Let lovers go fresh and sweet to be undone,
Taboo, 1963, tempera on hardboard, with light interference. Jacob Lawrence, 1917-2000, American. Philadelphia Art Museum
And the heaviest nuns walk in a pure floating
Of dark habits,
keeping their difficult balance.”
Ensemble spring/summer 2014; black and white synthetic crepe and white cotton canvas. Moschino, Italian.
Loaned by Moschino to the Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute exhibition, Heavenly Bodies, in 2018