Saturday, September 22, 2001

I've been having trouble going to sleep because I do too much reading right before I go to bed, and then I can't stop from thinking. Or, as happened tonight, I post something here and then can't stop editing it in my mind. I also started re-reading Exclusion and Embrace and am amazed at how relevant—and challenging—it is given the events of September 11.

The way in which Tuesday, September 11, has reorganized so many people's perspective of life and given new significance to previously unnoted or unremarked upon events reminds me of a poem I read in American Lit. III in college. My penciled notation in the margin says "human organization of the scene."
    Anecdote of the Jar
I placed a jar in Tennessee,
And round it was, upon a hill.
It made the slovenly wilderness
Surround that hill.

The wilderness rose up to it,
And sprawled around, no longer wild.
The jar was round upon the ground
And tall and of a port in air.

It took dominion everywhere.
The jar was gray and bare.
It did not give of bird or bush,
Like nothing else in Tennessee.

    Wallace Stevens, 1919, 1923
A small example. Earlier this evening while I was looking for the post on Susie's site where she first mentioned Bob Dylan's new CD, I re-read her quote from Shakespeare's Henry V:
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility;
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger....
It was posted Sunday, September 09.

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