Monday, February 7, 2011

to a writer of reputation

... the man must remain obscure.
                                   ~ Cezanne

Having begun in public anonymity,
you did not count on this
literary sublimation by which
some body becomes a "name" -
as if you have died and have become
a part of mere geography.  Greet,
therefore, the roadsigns on the road.
Or perhaps you have become deaf and blind,
or merely inanimate, and may 
be studied without embarrassment
by the disinterested, the dispassionate,
and the merely curious,
not fearing to be overheard.
Hello to the grass, then, and to the trees.
Or perhaps you are secretly
still alert and moving, no longer the one
they have named, but another,
named by yourself,
carrying away this morning's showers
for your private delectation.
Hello, river.

~ Wendell Berry
from Given