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XXIX

PERSPECTIVE
Bruegel's Hunters In The Snow
Perhaps to other men
th'Winters show
some other Scene for their wide Ken
than skeletons of snow

or Aprils bring some other mirth
than lilies covering with birth
wherever eyes look in
th'pastures of life's Origin

but Who can look upon th'Fall
as in decays She struts
& help but straightening his back withal
and sucking in his guts 32

^{32} This poem is not about perspective but a perspective. All men have their individual interpretation of Past (Spring) and Future (Winter), but they all see The Present as Fall (rather than Summer, even at the heights of Summer --the reason I excluded it from the work), because we seldom seem to remain at any one place for long, I suppose; and this seems to hold true whether they are in decline (the first verse [couplet] of the last stanza) or are readying themselves to forge ahead (the concluding couplet). I did not overlook Summer (it was the subject of a fourth stanza which I omit because it simply wasn't up to the level of the other three and because the Summer is tragic in that it is the season which really ought to be enjoyed by those who waste their precious lives worrying over the Future & Past). In this case subtraction added up to a greater perfection. Check your bricks over and over again: Anything conceived by an instant is very likely to be done away with in an instant. That I should have written a fourth stanza about Summer should tell you that my artistic intention changed after at least one complete draft was already executed.

What is truth? Ultimately truth is a definition (and not necessarily a true one, either). You fill in the blanks ... A: human truth is an approximation ... B: objective, or cosmic truth is always some redundant circularity (self-evident) ... C: none of the above, etc. But, whatever it is, it is certainly inebriating to the truth-seekers who push all the way to the edge (and even pushing some of them over the edge).

If you can say "the soul of the snow is whiteness" I can certainly say "the Winter's wide ken" --to me the ambiguity of whose "ken" it is is a somewhat satisfying one. Of course, the poem leaves no doubt that it is other people's ken; but enough ambiguity is left to make it interesting. Although Winter and Spring ("Aprils" are the seasons, "Fall" is not only the season but the downfall (indeed, I am perhaps too fond of the quibble). The difference between appearance and reality may be that we know the character of reality, while appearances always lie at a distance (only when we get to 'it' concretely does 'it' becomes a reality). "The oar looks bent" (an illusion is created). "The oar appears to be bent" (if we inspect it it may indeed prove to be bent). All ideas are based upon (proved by) assumptions we understand to be at their roots. If we try to question our assumptions ultimately such ideas must be based upon other assumptions ad infinitum [Kant's "We can know objects only as they appear to us"]... In other words: "We can only know through knowing" for "knowing" is the identical function as "apperception" (We can only split hairs between the five senses.) Adjectives & nouns: It is reasonable to think of any adjective also as a noun (because any given description is something in itself independent of what it describes) but it is folly to try to explain these disembodied descriptions as some sort of [email protected]

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