Clouds

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From Mark Jarman’s Epistles:

26. In the Clouds

Simply by thinking I stood among the clouds. They surrounded and passed me, being and becoming. Blood released into clear water. Breath into cold air. Formlessness entering form, forced into form. . . .

Brothers and sisters, consider the taste of cloud in a Sherpa’s mouth, of fog in a surfer’s throat. Consider the flocculent muscle of the cumulus. The icy elevation of the cirrus. But especially the thunderhead, full of zeal, hurrying in with its beveled wind, white slanting rain, its electric personality, its aftermath. . . .

As they change, clouds grow neither better nor worse. They alter because it is their nature to alter.

And on the cover a cloud study by John Constable:

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Painting is a science and should be pursued as an inquiry into the laws of nature. Why, then, may not landscape painting be considered a branch of natural philosophy, of which pictures are but the experiments?” John Constable

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From Alex Caldiero (after seeing the original version of this post):

As if out of a memory
This morning your clouds
Brought me this—

Once i followed a
Procession of clouds
Up to the top of a hill—

I could see sky
And earth almost touch
But never meet—

Who was i to think
Such impossible thoughts
But a creature alive—

A cloud left the procession
And started towards me,
Even now towards me—
—————–
——-
———–

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Blanche McCarthy

Look in the terrible mirror of the sky

And not in this dead glass, which can reflect

Only the surfaces- the bending arm,

The leaning shoulder and the searching eye.

Look in the terrible mirror of the sky.

Oh, bend against the invisible; and lean

To symbols of descending night; and search

The glare of revelations going by!

Look in the terrible mirror of the sky.

See how the absent moon waits in a glade

Of your dark self, and how the wings of stars,

Upward, from unimagined coverts, fly.

William Carlos Williams

[thanks to Richard Gate for this]

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About Scott Abbott

I received my Ph.D. in German Literature from Princeton University in 1979. Then I taught at Vanderbilt University, BYU, and Utah Valley State College. At Utah Valley University, I directed the Program in Integrated Studies for its initial 13 years and was also Chair of the Department of Humanities and Philosophy for three years. My publications include a book on Freemasonry and the German Novel, two co-authored books with Zarko Radakovic (REPETITIONS and VAMPIRES & A REASONABLE DICTIONARY, published in Serbo-Croatian in Belgrade and in English with Punctum Books), a book with Sam Rushforth (WILD RIDES AND WILDFLOWERS, Torrey House Press), a "fraternal meditation" called IMMORTAL FOR QUITE SOME TIME (University of Utah Press), and translations of three books by Austrian author Peter Handke, of an exhibition catalogue called "The German Army and Genocide," and, with Dan Fairbanks, of Gregor Mendel's important paper on hybridity in peas. More famously, my children are in the process of creating good lives for themselves: as a model and dance/yoga studio manager, as a teacher of Chinese language, as an ecologist and science writer, as a jazz musician, as a parole officer, as a contractor, as a seasonal worker (Alaska and Park City, Utah), and as parents. I share my life with UVU historian Lyn Bennett, with whom I have written a cultural history of barbed wire -- THE PERFECT FENCE (Texas A&M University Press). Some publications at http://works.bepress.com/scott_abbott/
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2 Responses to Clouds

  1. Alex caldiero says:

    As if out of a memory
    This morning your clouds
    Brought me this—

    Once i followed a
    Procession of clouds
    Up to the top of a hill—

    I could see sky
    And earth almost touch
    But never meet—

    Who was i to think
    Such impossible thoughts
    But a creature alive—

    A cloud left the procession
    And started towards me,
    Even now towards me—
    —————–
    ——-
    ———–

    Like

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