Interrupting Stillness - Poem by gershon hepner
We interrupt the stillness when
we reach for it by word,
and though we all are hollow men
we can’t grasp the absurd.
Transient beauty can’t be found
by seizing it in time
or space, and once we make a sound
we lose it. There’s no rhyme
for stillness or for beauty, and
absurdity is all
we need to know and understand,
although beyond recall,
forgotten just as soon as we
have heard its echoes in
the lives described by its debris,
their tales its onionskin.
Inspired by T. S. Eliot’s “Burnt Norton, ” particularly the lines:
Only by the form, the pattern,
Can words or music reach
The stillness, as a Chinese jar still
Moves perpetually in its stillness.
Not the stillness of the violin, while the note lasts,
Not that only, but the co-existence,
Or say that the end precedes the beginning,
And the end and the beginning were always there
Before the beginning and after the end.
And all is always now. Words strain,
Crack and sometimes break, under the burden,
Under the tension, slip, slide, perish,
Decay with imprecision, will not stay in place,
Will not stay still.
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