Friday, April 02, 2010

Obituary Encounter

Sometimes I read obituaries. Not often. Maybe once or twice a year. I don't know many people, so theres not many people in my life that dies. But sometimes I do. I'm not sure why. Perhaps it's some morbid socialpornographic impulse. Perhaps it's a result of my fumbling attemts at bildung. Or maybe it is, as I tell my self, a meditation on the value of the singular life.

So when a new republic article on the value (if any) of a liberal arts academic degree led me to Seamus Heaneys almost unreadable obituary on polish genious&1980 poet laureate Czeslaw Milosz... I decided to read it. I did'nt know him, I did'nt even know of him until now. But I think I might want to check out more of his stuff. The poem below is taken from's page on him.


We were riding through frozen fields in a wagon at dawn.
A red wing rose in the darkness.

And suddenly a hare ran across the road.
One of us pointed to it with his hand.

That was long ago. Today neither of them is alive,
Not the hare, nor the man who made the gesture.

O my love, where are they, where are they going
The flash of a hand, streak of movement, rustle of pebbles.
I ask not out of sorrow, but in wonder.

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