Monday, January 22, 2007

Dodge (Out of)

A Wall

Read the final pages of Against the Day in a choppy series of interrupts. Circumstances continue mad to rob me of Time shelter’d enough to squib with any clarity. Walks out into the snow in dimming light, or light uncladding itself of night. “I am so hurried . . . I run all Day with my tongue abroad, like a Summer Dog” is how Emily Dickinson puts it, knowing the difference a comma makes. I potter about with her letters, dipping. Or Emerson’s journal-entries, dipping. “H. D. T. said he knew but one secret, which was to do one thing at a time, and though he has his evenings for study, if he was in the day inventing machines for sawing his plumbago, he invents wheels all the evening & night also; and if this week he has some good reading and thought before him, his brain runs on that all day, whilst pencils pass through his hands. I find in me an opposite facility or perversity, that I never seem well to do a particular work, until another is due. I cannot write the poem though you give me a week, but if I promise to read a lecture day after tomorrow, at once the poem comes into my head & now the rhymes will flow. And let the proofs of the Dial be crowding on me from the printer, and I am full of faculty how to make the Lecture.” And, earlier, mentioning how H. D. T. “only hears the word Art in a sinister sense.” It is the expect’d, the owed, I rebel against. Manacles, irritants, what makes one dodge and renew.

Henry David Thoreau