Sunday, July 5, 2009

Kingfishers#6, By Pretty Pool

On Reading History

It is not the least ingenuous to say

He had no idea who he saw that day

When he stopped to rest by pretty pool

And lost his heart in its rippling surface

Looking back from this end of time

It’s fair to ask “how could that be?”

But two thousand years had yet to pass

Before the arts of metal or of glass

Could perfect a reflecting surface.

So his own image he could only glean

As capricious undulations on blade or shield

Or as depicted by the imperfect arts;

But not as now with the force of light.

We reading back with our assumptions

At times seems quite unfair to me:

A complex web of strange projections,

But I see revealed in it an irony.

That as author of our ego’s love of self

Should be one as confused as we are

About what image a reflection brings;

And just as he did not know himself reflected

Reflection seldom helps us find the self we seek.

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