Saturday, February 28, 2009

Love at Last Sight





A lightning flash... then night! Fleeting beauty
By whose glance I was suddenly reborn,
Will I see you no more before eternity?

Elsewhere, far, far from here! too late! never perhaps!
For I know not where you fled, you know not where I go,
O you whom I would have loved, O you who knew it!

Charles Baudelaire, A Une Passante - To a Passerby, 1857

Or, as Walter Benjamin put it, 'love at last sight' - the frisson of the brief encounter, a glance, the quiver within the self ... and the melancholy ache that ensues as that moment melts ... of holding it in the memory. Sudden moments from the train window bring such rapture ... then fade, into time, into space ...

2 comments:

Antonia said...

this poem is painted on a wall where i live. and i always found it such a suitable poem to paint on a wall, outside. a public space is actually the only space it can really live and breathe, where everyone can see and possibly feel adressed by it and read it when they pass by, casually, and then upon reading not so casually anymore: http://www.muurgedichten.nl/baudelaire.html
your fotos are wonderful.

jacky bowring said...

Thanks Antonia ... painting the poem on the wall seems deliciously surreal, as though the words condense upon a surface, while the world swirls by ...