Related to the hobos in the middle of Crane's Bridge. Diffidence, negative capability... "they touch a key, perhaps". What is this? Detachment from particulars, attachment to some apperception or instinct for life as Whole. (?)
This is a Russian thing, too. Oblomov's homesickness. Tolstoy's mysticism. Nabokovian nostalgia. Desire for summers long gone, for Life with capital L, for childhood... Yearning with a capital Y.
- can be a dangerous... Lots of writers insist on the need to avoid such. Enterprising Odysseus keeps the Lotus-Eaters at arms' length.
Hobo a liminal figure, I guess. Surrenders "living" for the sake of Life. Secret future of the Earth. Hidden zone where all things fuse in one...
Contemplation. Secret quest for answer to the Big Question. Much talk in poetry blogland lately about the "conceptual"... in my view there is just one royal road of "conception"... it is the capacity to conceive a question about the unity of nature, or reality.... the question of origin. & following that thought-trail, to postulate :
1. consciousness pervading nature & reality
2. some logos or order to universe as a whole
3. human consciousness as a sign or representative of this cosmic consciousness
4. human destiny to achieve (after long struggle) union, order, equilibrium & peace within earth, nature, cosmos
5. this destiny represented long ago as return to Paradise or Garden
6. prophetic writings & acts point the way in this direction (I have my own personal beliefs & allegiances in that regard, which I am loath to describe or impose here)
One of the things poetry tries to do is synthesize and vitalize certain conceptual or experiential universals (cf. Aristotle). It may be simply the recounting of a dream. This is what my "Hobo" represents. Among other things. From Way Stations :
Not the flower, but the whistling stem,
the stump still sprouting
desire from pain, pain from desire -
a homeless voice, roadside day-
lily in rearview mirrors,
unstemmed longing, infinite,
to the barren node of the
Not for itself,
but in response, a choral thorn-
crown for harvest of black-
eyed Susans tempered
by drought - the keening
of Appalachian eyes.
From the fissure, a breath
of warm air - the frozen flower (touched
by a human hum) blooms.
In cliffside cave or hermitage,
a prehistorian, unfrozen now, draws
out Nativity from spring charcoal:
under the modal drone of mountain
banjo, streambed clay (glance
of a goldfinch) rose infant lips
are moving (do, re, mi...)