Thursday, August 18, 2011

All The Questions About Atlantis

I’ll never know if she thought me a fool

for attempting what I couldn’t quite do,
or was she touched by my zeal to belong.
Between heaven and hell veiled is the rule.

Brazil” has come up a couple of times here at Impossible Kisses.

I quoted a news story about a long whale migration that started in the waters of the Atlantic off Brazil in A Lost World Where Distance Is God’s Anger.

I quoted a news story about a new species of frog discovered near Brazil in New Species Of High Fashion Frog.

Strangely, to me, are the mentions I haven’t made of Brazil.

I never mentioned the movie “Brazil” by Terry Gilliam, or the poem by Emily Dickinson. (Although I quoted a different Emily Dickinson poem in Veiled.)

Today I’m not going to say much about the Terry Gilliam movie, but here is the poem by Emily Dickinson:

I asked no other thing,
No other was denied.
I offered Being for it;
The mighty merchant smiled.

Brazil? He twirled a button,
Without a glance my way:
“But, madam, is there nothing else
That we can show to-day?”

I don’t remember when I first read that. But one time Linda—the Linda from my post about Kate McGarrigle, Something Heroic And Remote—and I went to see the Terry Gilliam movie and we had a good time. Afterward we went back to her apartment and as Linda was talking about what a wild movie it was, I pointed out that she had an Emily Dickinson anthology right next to her bed. She said, “So?” I said, “Dickinson mentions Brazil in an odd little poem.” And I flipped to the index, found the poem, and showed it to Linda. She read it and looked at me. “I just read through this, and I don’t remember reading that poem. But now that you show it to me, it does sort of fit the movie in some weird way. Not a direct way, but somehow. How weird that I was reading this book before we saw the movie. How weird that I don’t remember that poem.”

Brave frog, as far away as Atlantis,
and as beautiful. I would be afraid
even to go into a store and ask
whatever merchant might be on duty
for this thing that would have to be denied.

I don’t understand distance but I know
there is here and there and I know that here
is not the answer to any question
about Atlantis. I don’t think Brazil
is the answer to those questions, either.

Brave frog, as far away as Atlantis,
and as beautiful. I think the answers
to all the questions about Atlantis
are on the other side of some distance
farther than a store, and more frightening, too.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Beautiful People Are Courageous

The Occult Technology Of Lost Songs

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