encantado

adam posting:

as a lover of poetry, i cherish precise words. i celebrate adjectives that describe my exact feelings. one word that has resonated with me over the past two weeks is the word “encantado”. this is a word that spanish-speakers often use when greeting a new person. instead of replying “nice to meet you” after an introduction, they simply say, ‘encantado’.

the word literally translates to mean ‘enchanted’. and i am intrigued, challenged, amazed by the new people that i meet in life. in a word, i am enchanted.

i consider the word ‘encantado’ especially applicable to my affection for poetry. since my first encounter with poetry, i have been enchanted. and my life has become a constant effort to see through otherwise unimportant days and recognize an astonishing moment like an old friend. this, to me, is poetry.

that effort gives meaning to my busy days. so, here in nyc, while i hustle to work for 14-16 hours a day, 18 days in a row, i have often been turning to poetry.

in celebration of my enchantment with poetry, and its constant gift back to me–that of wonder, i will be posting one poem each day this week that has helped me realize beauty amongst busyness. the first poem is ‘An Arundel Tomb’ by my favorite miserable Brit, Philip Larkin.

An Arundel Tomb

Side by side, their faces blurred,
The earl and countess lie in stone,
Their proper habits vaguely shown
As jointed armour, stiffened pleat,
And that faint hint of the absurd –
The little dogs under their feet.

Such plainness of the pre-baroque
Hardly involves the eye, until
It meets his left-hand gauntlet, still
Clasped empty in the other; and
One sees, with a sharp tender shock,
His hand withdrawn, holding her hand.

They would not think to lie so long.
Such faithfulness in effigy
Was just a detail friends would see:
A sculptor’s sweet commissioned grace
Thrown off in helping to prolong
The Latin names around the base.

They would not guess how early in
Their supine stationary voyage
The air would change to soundless damage,
Turn the old tenantry away;
How soon succeeding eyes begin
To look, not read. Rigidly, they

Persisted, linked, through lengths and breadths
Of time. Snow fell, undated. Light
Each summer thronged the glass. A bright
Litter of birdcalls strewed the same
Bone-riddled ground. And up the paths
The endless altered people came,

Washing at their identity.
Now, helpless in the hollow of
An unarmorial age, a trough
Of smoke in slow suspended skeins
Above their scrap of history,
Only an attitude remains:

Time has transfigured them into
Untruth. The stone fidelity
They hardly meant has come to be
Their final blazon, and to prove
Our almost-instinct almost true:
What will survive of us is love.

Phillip Larkin

Advertisements

One response to “encantado

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: