apricot tree in bloom -
scraping the night off
the cast-iron cauldron
The poem excels in simplicity. Through its elegance of form, naturalness and ease of style, through its fluency. The fluency somehow deviates our attention away from the meaning. But as soon as we are a little more vigilant, we note that the gerund scraping introduces an equivocal action, without the certainty of a well-defined agent. Who is, in fact, the agent?
As we are more careful, we grasp the paradox: no scraping is going on, as we tend to believe, it is the night and not reinforced soot, the darkness, the clay that is scraped off the pot actually the night. The first elegance of the poem, which sent us on a casual but false trail, becomes now subtly provocative. Undoubtedly, we are being proposed a less orthodox agent – the blooming apricot tree. The whole poem swerves. Subtle images and objects – the apricot and the cast-iron cauldron - are transfigured. For the characters in the fable, correspondences are searched in the visual imagination, in an attempt to cope with a vision. The blossoming, the coming of spring, the new light of the apricot flowers take us away from our obsession with the foggy cast-iron cauldron where we chew on the polenta of our everyday lives and which gives us a miracle, that of becoming open to the world. We get the whiteness of the dim eyes scraped; our eyes are dim with the pressing and important domestic chores.
If we have an additional agilility of imagination, we can finally see the grumpy cast-iron cauldron covered in a black foam, which is removed easily and elegantly by a Gillette Fusion Power razor with thousands of apricot blooms (functioning as blades).
Corneliu Traian Atanasiu