Friday, March 01, 2013

`I Who Am Limited'

Our abiding crime, I suppose, is presumption. We presume to know so much. The speaker, a smart fellow, spoke of “Big Data,” intoning “from yesterday’s Gigabytes to today’s Terabytes and tomorrow’s Petabytes,” less like Father Maple than Ahab: “Speak, thou vast and venerable head.” One of C.H. Sisson’s last poems is “The Verb to Be” (Collected Poems, 1998):
“Nothing comes out of the forest of my mind,
So what can be? There is the outer world.
Or how should I know if there were to be
A fight of dragons or a shower of rain?
For I stand at the entrance of the world
--Of my world, of the only world I know,
Or can know—I who am limited.
There is one God who made the world complete
And all the little worlds, beetle or man,
Who see as much as their small natures allow.”

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