Annals of Love 14: Scar Clan

The clan has, it seems, an intermittent membership of virtually one hundred percent of the adults of our species. 

 

Scars – the psycho-emotional  kind – with only one cause: love.  The lack of love or its excess. 

 

Some shelter their scars, constantly fingering them. They do not feel fully alive without this. 

 

 

 

The Fist
Derek Walcott, 1930-2017, Saint Lucian 

 from Collected Poems: 1948-1984.

 

 

The fist clenched round my heart
loosens a little, and I gasp
brightness; but it tightens
again. When have I ever not loved
the pain of love? But this has moved

 

 

 

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Melancholia, 1953, opaque watercolour on paper.  Ben Shahn, 1898-1969,American born Lithuania.  Philadelphia Museum of Art

 

 

past love to mania. This has the strong
clench of the madman, this is
gripping the ledge of unreason, before
plunging howling into the abyss.

 

Hold hard then, heart. This way at

 least you live.

 

 

 

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Saddle, 2000, full raw hide.  Jennifer Antoni, American born 1964.  A cast made from rawhide of the artist’s body.  On display at the Metropolitan Museum, NY in 2017

 

 

 

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Chlorosis (love sick), 1994, ink, gouache and acrylic on 24 sheets of paper.  Marlene Dumas, South African born 1953.  MOMA, NY

 

 

 

 

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The Sitter, 1992, wax, cheesecloth, wood and dye.  Kiki Smith, American born 1954.  On display at the Metropolitan Museum, NY in 2017

 

 

 

The poet, however, forswore his scar addiction and learned to live loudest without them

to write this magnificent poem. 

 

 

 

Love After Love

from Collected Poems, 1948-1984

Derek Walcott, 1930-2017, Saint Lucian

 

 

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

 

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

 

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

 

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.

 

 

Mirror in an old farmhouse, 2015, Ashokan Catskills, NY where we were content

 

 

Sit. Feast on your life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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