Tuesday, April 11, 2006

"Night-sounds with their echoes"         [villanelle]


Night-sounds with their echoes appear
day's glare is dissolved into dark
my meanings are growing unclear

I drift   quite unable to steer
the arrows fly shy of the mark
night-sounds with their echoes appear

he turned toward the grove of the deer
the Buddha encamped in the park
where meanings were growing unclear

the wistful is distant or near
the mist may seem gentle or stark
night-sounds with their echoes appear

O solace in sorrow! O cheer
the flame & the flint & the spark
when meanings are growing unclear

is musical singing too dear?
do revelers hasten to hark?
night-sounds with their echoes appear
while meanings are growing unclear



-----------------

verse 3: reference to the deer park (at Migadaya, also called Isipatana, in Sarnath, on the outskirts of Benares) may recall the occasion of the Buddha's first unfolding of his teachings:
Then the thought occurred to me, "Where are the group of five monks staying now?" And with the divine eye, purified & surpassing the human, I saw that they were staying near Varanasi in the Deer Park at Isipatana.
from chapter, "He wonders: To whom should I teach this Dhamma first?", in the Pali Canon.

(This, by way of explaining that passing reference only; -- not to suggest an overall context for the poem. Rather, the poem may be understood to move through a range of contexts, or to point to an array of ideas, or to evoke a variety of images. The above note relates to one among them.)

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