Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Towards the Ground

immaculate white –
the branches bend
towards the ground

(Corneliu Traian Atanasiu)

Without the repeated experience, year after year, of the immaculate snow which covers and overwhelms everything, without the quiet and grateful contemplation of the silence settled upon a world which no longer seemed to deserve it, without the meditation on the meanings of feelings that weave in what you feel before the spotless landscape, I would have not been tempted to continue, under the impression that I will not get to have my work done on it, and to polish this poem for two whole weeks.

But also without these two poems which I remembered during my search: 

first snow - / everything dirty / under cover (Cornelia Conta)

covered up / all my debts - / I listen to the snow falling (Cristina Oprea)

I would not have been able to capture that experience of detachment full of gratitude for everything.

The first idea was to give weight to the amount of snow coming from the sky. And for this I had in mind the parable of the branches on which the snow was lying down generously, bending them to the ground. Overwhelming them. They were bowing down flexibly, but they could also break. Resorting to a familiar phrase – towards the ground – I hid away, only implying, the possibility of breaking, bringing into focus, at the same time, a superlative of bending. I preferred this allusion to bowing. By saying the branches bend / towards the ground, I was surprising a natural and objective gesture of humility towards the coming snow. Overwhelming was becoming a burden and, on another level, an overwhelming outpouring of emotion felt with all sincerity and gratitude.

The pious gesture of gratitude was solved. The ellipse was also there: the snow that had caused it did not appear on stage. Only its overhwelming effect. I was free to quit naming it literally. I could evoke it, by metonymy, naming only one of its most expressive features, that which impresses and fascinates us most – its whiteness. Which suggests purity. The ellipse was still there and the chosen word was more suitable to allude the coming down on earth of a pure spirit with no sins – immaculate white. 

(Corneliu Traian Atanasiu)

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