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days of rational belief and mythical thought


by strannikov


“progress” is our myth

that the future we possess,

that our pasts are dead.

 

buildings older than

entire nations still stand, stone

staircases still trod.


photography shows

just what telescopy tells:

all we see is past.

 

plays, poems, and prose

composed centuries ago

continue to speak.

 

the past is not dead:

if it were, we'd have no words

nor could we hide stars.

 

our futures still mute,

we do not hear in advance,

our sound is so slow.

 

“history” ebbs not,

flows not: our sentiments do

but with vigor slosh.


“égalité”? where?

never in France, nowhere else,

no ideal world here.


“reason” itself now

counts as a myth, such a vain

and elusive trait:

 

you sometimes still hear

rational lunatics sing 

moving hymns to “truth”.

 

“truth”? fanciful “truth”?

“truth” itself some less than myth,

some less than “half-truth”.

 

(if “truth” does exist,

it continues to exceed

both our reach and grasp.)

 

Holy Science says:

“our tall cathedrals console

with hieratic truths,

 

and with lethal truths:

with our hieroglyphic math

do we conquer all.”

 

science and math lie:

these cannot tell truth entire,

Reason's halfwit slaves.

 

medieval the new:

days of rational belief

and mythical thought.

 

once poets restore

their tongues, then can they speak 'twixt

shadows and their things.

 

 

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