• Email
  • Print

Deja Vu

It is as if they were part of this struggle for transparency
That goes on and on—I mean those moments that transports
Of remembering choose for their flabbergasting act:
The casual meal in the normal course of ordinaries
At which Brenda asks for the ketchup, for instance, just after,
So it seems, we remembered that she would. And suppose
That she had behaved extraordinarily and said
“Pass the Kappock,” or that a newt had occurred in the pitcher
Of milk: there would have been nothing alarming about it.
It would merely have been surprising; whatever grips our
Minds at those moments of “Here it is” would be eased
By astonishment; and afterwards as we total up
These common instants inexplicably crowned with fearfulness,
It is like turning leaves in an old novel, wondering
Why the engravings of the most uninteresting and unpicturesque
Scenes should have been the ones to be so wildly hand-colored.
But that is as it should be—no deep magic of unknowing,
None of the mind’s secret raids on its own storehouses,
Occasions these images of reminding. It is probably
Only a matter of circuitry, of the alpha-rhythm’s
Interruption, that makes the here and now enter
The known by the back gate used for returning visitors,
And all with the irrelevance of a sneeze. And yet these scenes—

It is as if they were part of this struggle for transparency
That goes on and on—I mean those moments that transports
Of remembering choose for their flabbergasting act:
The casual meal in the normal course of ordinaries
At which Brenda asks for the ketchup, for instance, just after,
So it seems, we remembered that she would. And suppose
That she had behaved extraordinarily and said
“Pass the Kappock,” or that a newt had occurred in the pitcher
Of milk: there would have been nothing alarming about it.
It would merely have been surprising; whatever grips our
Minds at those moments of “Here it is” would be eased
By astonishment; and afterwards as we total up
These common instants inexplicably crowned with fearfulness,
It is like turning leaves in an old novel, wondering
Why the engravings of the most uninteresting and unpicturesque
Scenes should have been the ones to be so wildly hand-colored.
But that is as it should be—no deep magic of unknowing,
None of the mind’s secret raids on its own storehouses,
Occasions these images of reminding. It is probably
Only a matter of circuitry, of the alpha-rhythm’s
Interruption, that makes the here and now enter
The known by the back gate used for returning visitors,
And all with the irrelevance of a sneeze. And yet these scenes—
You reach for a book with a purple cover; you ask
If anyone has seen the sunset; the telephone rings
As the last guest bends into his overcoat—these things
That have and have not happened are central, if not to
The dark puzzle of your life, then at the heart of the world.

  • Email
  • Print