24 July, 2011

Homage to my Umbrella IV

umbrella05 dawn
To tell a story. To do so with self-depreciation and humility. To make choreography.

Heather McHugh does so brilliantly. I was going to quote the last words of the poem, the sage words, but that would be taking away the soul of the story. Do enjoy.


  1. Anonymous2:56 am

    Giordano, a cosmic soul. What an extraordinary and lovely poem
    in remembrance and forethought. Thank you, Lilalia.
    His passion and brilliance invited me to seek out his books in Paris
    after hearing of his work in philosophy class at Nanterre.
    I hurried down forgotten alleys to speak with old men whose eyes
    would brighten at the mention of his name.
    Ah, Bruno n'est pas encore connu comme il faut.
    They sold their dusty Bruno books and scribbled unknown
    names and streets on torn pieces of paper.
    I wound through backstreets collecting books in
    Latin, Italian, and French, until my Bruno shelf was complete.
    Poetry, cosmic glory, galaxies that bloomed like flowers,
    his paths across Europe seeking freedom and a voice of discovery.
    Ten years later in my Cultural History of Science we compared
    and contrasted the trials of Bruno and Galileo. After seducing the class
    with that simple exercise, I brought to class my small Bruno
    library as my professors had taught me, and laid the books on the desk--
    To touch, read aloud, note titles, and discuss freely in a chorus
    of languages and voices.

    Bruno, my love, what small seeds we planted with your
    new students those years. Behold, the poetically perfect butterfly
    that has arisen from an unknown flower along the road.

    Thank you, Heather. I can cease my longing and insisting,
    and return home peacefully now.


  2. Katherine, I read you comment and was so moved thinking of your younger, passionate self following the trials and trails of Burno Giordano. Then I went back to the poem, with this armful of context you passes on to me, and read and listened to it again. This time the glib American academics were pushed aside and it was only you and the nameless unread poet/administrator carrying on an eloquent discussion about this great man's life.

  3. Wow - what a magical collage!