Nice sailing here to Nantucket.
Finally get to check out these shops.
Toilet waters, lots to reconnoiter.
Shoe selection, rather limited.
“Pardon me,” I say to lady at counter,
“your teacups, lace couture?”
She doesn’t lift her head. Points thataway.
All these mirrors, so uncomfortable.
So many delicate trinkets, so easy to break.
Hard to step in such a cramped place.
Granted, that gilded leaf place setting,
very nice taste.
Whoa! Nearly knocked that one over.
See, this is why I always order online.
Review by Massimo Fantuzzi
Once more, around us, a delicate balance of geometries we do not understand fully; once more, we move amid an intricate forest of fragile trinkets in which, tourists, we can’t trust our clumsy movement and passage.
The intuition that, in my opinion, elevates this poem comes from the line All these mirrors, so uncomfortable. Wouldn’t it be just the thing to discover that the only breakable, endangered bauble that needs care when handled, is indeed us, stiff rigid in our crystal globe of melting snow?
Looking at these two poems, I’m thinking just how far we have come (some of us at least) from the vision Herbert (and others) had in the XVII century (and onwards) of our place in the world.
Man is all symmetry,
Full of proportions, one limb to another,
And all to all the world besides:
For us the winds do blow,
The earth doth rest, heaven move, and fountains flow.
Nothing we see but means our good,
As our delight or as our treasure:
The whole is either our cupboard of food,
Or cabinet of pleasure. (G. Herbert, Man)