Poem of the Day
TO RAJA RAO
Raja, I wish I knewthe cause of that malady.
For years I could not acceptthe place I was in.I felt I should be somewhere else.
A city, trees, human voiceslacked the quality of presence.I would live by the hope of moving on.
Somewhere else there was a city of real presence,of real trees and voices and friendship and love.
Link, if you wish, my peculiar case(on the border of schizophrenia)to the messianic hopeof my civilization.
Ill at ease in the tyranny, ill at ease in the republic,in the one I longed for freedom, in the other for the end of corruption.Building in my mind a permanent polisforever deprived of aimless bustle.
I learned at last to say: this is my home,here, before the glowing coal of ocean sunsets,on the shore which faces the shores of your Asia,in a great republic, moderately corrupt.
Raja, this did not cure meof my guilt and shame.A shame of failing to bewhat I should have been.
The image of myselfgrows gigantic on the walland against itmy miserable shadow.
That's how I came to believein Original Sinwhich is nothing but the firstvictory of the ego.
Tormented by my ego, deluded by itI give you, as you see, a ready argument.
I hear you saying that liberation is possibleand that Socratic wisdomis identical with your guru's.
No, Raja, I must start from what I am.I am those monsters which visit my dreamsand reveal to me my hidden essence.
If I am sick, there is no proof whatsoeverthat man is a healthy creature.
Greece had to lose, her pure consciousnesshad to make our agony only more acute.
We needed God loving us in our weaknessand not in the glory of beatitude.
No help, Raja, my part is agony,struggle, abjection, self-love, and self-hate,prayer for the Kingdomand reading Pascal.