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XX

INTERSTITIAL
Botticelli's Madonna of The Magnificat
Occasion'lly I pause
to breathe Relief a while
from heavenly Exile
or some earthlier cause

and glance over the Span
of Ways which stretch
ever where others ran
before: trying to catch

up to themselves--There, alone
goes Agony! and
then all the steps are gone
from Inspiration still at hand

--Who is willing to understand
( th'ripple of ) Success!?

Way beyond those banks of Sand
that in senselessness
score th'Tides of Enormity
over Th'Land as Sea returns
to th'savage, wild Melody
of her sojourns--

And what the rain proposes
I don't know!...

Perhaps the Roses
where they dumbly grow
perceive a truer Meaning

in The Going rain

than its own momentary Beginning
or their quenching Gain:

Hills look over to each other
across the dividing field
& travel eons of erosion
leaning forward on the Wind

while Continents slide away
so slowly! to ripening World Depths

mutely searching for The Bottom
of a Basin they themselves form! 23

Pissarro's Landscape at Chaponval

^{23} Here, the scheme finally excludes the tight recurrence of the rhyme (as if it were not there at all) when the heavy use of rhyme is practically all the patterning there is to the work.

"Success" [line 14] is what calls for understanding (demands to be understood). Failure is understood by all. "The Tides" [18] indeed score a success over the seas; but though they "raise" the few grains of sand over The Monster Sea, such a triumph is difficult to take as a success (which it nevertheless IS, since those same tides are so intrinsically The Sea itself). It's a question of what victory in The Monster devouring itself. Or, that the greatest conquest of all is The Conquest of Self, Too, the seas always win (and if they didn't the stage then could not be set for their defeat --again). "Meaning" [25] as it applies to the logical fabric of reality, not simply the logic of our own thoughts (note the fallacy--in humanizing the actions of Nature--we are left with when we pursue our intent along these lines to its extremest logical conclusions).

The first stanza is mood: A rationalization that vindicates the abrupt turn which presents the observations of the succeeding stanzas; were it omitted one would be left thinking them rather stark and strange (sudden) at that particular time & place. This inverted meaning in the second stanza (having the tides score a victory with the sands over the sea, when it is with the seas that tides are embodied) points out the great uncertainty of knowledge that characterizes reality in the human condition, making a mockery of all ultimate judgments. But there's always a workable alternative to this hopelessness (at the conclusion, beginning with the tentative "perhaps" [of the 23rd line]): That there might still be some inner justification giving meaning to existence (not just by being, but by being in relation to everything else) which might better not be looked for outside The Self that being considered --despite the fact that the significance of that Self is its position (its structure of inter-relationships). Structure (integrity, as I use the word in many other different places) is all-important in the context of poetry; being as it is the logical definition of art (form).

The illusion of free-will (see CDLV). In offering the choice of "any" 3 apples: Does "Take any 1 of the 3" preclude free selection? If the {whoever offers} has a specific apple in mind and the taker chooses another, one may imagine one has seen an act of free will. But the circumstances prevailing at that moment always force the inevitable choice (and all other opinions are arbitrary). There is no Will (which implies free-will, a redundancy); there is only our inability to follow all the (minutest) details of the process by which the results are reached. Would we reduce the term "ultimate reality" to "a notion inexorciseable from the mind" (or, "a notion no sane man would doubt or question")? [ART: If it is useful only in that it is beautiful, then it is art rather than craft.] It is undeniably necessary to inculcate in the young the notion that they must strive towards The Good Decision. However, that (sometimes-Good) decision will be made only if we are successful in our inculcation (otherwise they will surely make the wrong decision). But, either way, you can see that "we" are the real cause of the outcome (their decision): 'They' really can't help but choose as 'we' have succeeded in teaching them to, or their rebellion against 'us.' ('They' have no free will.) What about "us?" Aren't we just as well-educated? By what arrogant act of ego-masturbation dare "we" claim we DO own a free will!? [The shift to or across an idea to/through/from another idea: If we reduce the items (of each individual infinitesimal particular) which constitute the contents of the human mind to a projected configuration perceptible to the senses: wouldn't their numberless associations, similarities and distinctions not appear to the understanding of those senses as sights, objects, colors, shapes, constituents and consistencies etc. (e.g. a whole world of experiences)? In which case, wouldn't we notice the shift from, or the shift to (or across) an idea to/through/from another idea and be able to pinpoint the effect of each & every cause? But because the minutest workings in The Mind are still ineffable to us we are suddenly startled by any and all novel thoughts which make us wonder how original The Imagination is: O How marvelous the creativity & genius of Man (to be able to pull a thought right out of The Vacuum Brain like God the First Cause Uncaused & all the rest of that baloney). The problem with the moral aspects of Determinism is that if everything is preordained (sort of), then what holds us from indulgence? The answer (in a moral sense, as well) may be that causes beyond our control hold us from indulgence, in the final analysis, even though we are aware of the possibility of indulging: Although we really can't help making the decision we make, we yet rationalize it in terms of a self-flattery (call it, Will, if you will). Even the word is sublimest flattery --but it's only a (self-) delusion to help us live with the decision of Destiny over our hopeless fates. In this sort of world, given this sort of human condition, the idea of a Free Will is as inescapable as it is necessary. Once we can live without the notion of a Free Will, in happiness, we shall suddenly discover (wonder of all wonders!) that we can live without that self-flattering notion (crutch). [The use of the word "arbitrary" above does not imply the offerer has somehow come up with an absolutely independent thought, but only that his thought does not parallel the thought of the taker perfectly.]@

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