Friday, August 23, 2013

Heart and Leaf

A moment later my first poem began. What touched it off? I think I know. Without any wind blowing, the sheer weight of a raindrop, shining in parasitic luxury on a cordate leaf, caused its tip to dip, and what looked like a globule of quicksilver performed a sudden glissando down the center vein, and then, having shed its bright load, the relieved leaf unbent. Tip, leaf, dip, relief -- the instant it all took to happen seemed to me not so much a fraction of time as a fissure in it, a missed heartbeat, which was refunded at once by a patter of rhymes:  I say "patter" intentionally, for when a gust of wind did come, the trees would briskly start to drip all together in as crude an imitation of the recent downpour as the stanza I was already muttering resembled the shock of wonder I had experienced when for a moment heart and leaf had been one. 

Vladimir Nabokov
Speak, Memory

2 comments:

Sheila said...

Lovely! (So glad I re-found your blog.)

Sally Thomas said...

Me too, though I'm not sure how active it's going to be. It goes in cycles anyway, but as I'm coming to grips with the hard cold fact that I can't, realistically, both blog regularly and write with print in mind . . .

But then you read Nabokov, and what else are you going to do with passages like this? That's when I'm really glad I still do have a blog, and that people do still read it.