Friday, October 22, 2010

`Fair Moon, I Climb Your Tide'

The moon is full tonight. Walk outside and lend it an undistracted moment. The beauty is classical and pure, as billions across time and space have understood. Remote familiarity, calculated mutability, bounteous minimalism – the moon reflects us and the world.

In his poems Yvor Winters turned to the moon with touching regularity. Among his titles are “The Bitter Moon,” “The Moonlight,” “Moonlight Alert,” “Moonlight on stubbleshining,” “Sonnet to the Moon” and two titled “Moonrise.” The moon shows up memorably in “An October Nocturne” and “The Slow Pacific Swell.” In his early work Winters invented a form without name – a single six-syllable line. In his third collection, The Bare Hills (1927), comes this rich miniature:

“Fair moon, I climb your tide.”

Beauty, power and human yearning in six monosyllables. In his commonplace book and gathering of aphorisms and meditations, Timber: or Discoveries (1641), Ben Jonson writes:

“The brief style is that which expresseth much in little.”

No comments: