It transpires that murmurs and clickingsAnd you have to love whoever could write the first line of the second poem, "On Painting": "Pliny says it is always the season in which they are painting navies." Why has Canada produced so many poetswell, okay, just two, Anne Carson and Robertson, but they're really goodwith so lively and surprising an engagement with the classics ("After Trees," in the manner of Bjork, imagines Lucretius as a girl, and of course the poem continues her critique of the eclogue she started with Xeclogue)? Do they just have better schools up there?
Are nature to each body
Sound never resolves itself
And what we see erupts into other senses
Or perhaps it sways like a footbridge
Even our hands dream of stuff
They dream of pigments and fruit trees and puzzles
They dream of the honey that escapes from our work
Refuge in the classicsor more accurately, a processing of dismal present reality through themis tempting nowadays. Somewhere I just read of someone bearing current events with considerably greater equanimity by reading Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire every Sunday evening. And some poet whose name escapes me I recall used to read Roman history every morning instead of the newspaperas it happens, the assassination of Julius Caesar landed on November 22, 1963.