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(Poetry) - Monet Refuses the Operation by Lisel Mueller

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  • wdestiny44@aol.com
    Monet Refuses The Operation Doctor, you say there are no haloes around the streetlights in Paris and what I see is an aberration caused by old age, an
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 30, 2011
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      Monet Refuses The Operation

      Doctor, you say there are no haloes
      around the streetlights in Paris
      and what I see is an aberration
      caused by old age, an affliction.
      I tell you it has taken me all my life
      to arrive at the vision of gas lamps as angels,
      to soften and blur and finally banish
      the edges you regret I don't see,
      to learn that the line I called the horizon
      does not exist and sky and water,
      so long apart, are the same state of being.
      Fifty-four years before I could see
      Rouen cathedral is built
      of parallel shafts of sun,
      and now you want to restore
      my youthful errors: fixed
      notions of top and bottom,
      the illusion of three-dimensional space,
      wisteria separate
      from the bridge it covers.
      What can I say to convince you
      the Houses of Parliament dissolves
      night after night to become
      the fluid dream of the Thames?
      I will not return to a universe
      of objects that don't know each other,
      as if islands were not the lost children
      of one great continent. The world
      is flux, and light becomes what it touches,
      becomes water, lilies on water,
      above and below water,
      becomes lilac and mauve and yellow
      and white and cerulean lamps,
      small fists passing sunlight
      so quickly to one another
      that it would take long, streaming hair 
      inside my brush to catch it.
      To paint the speed of light!
      Our weighted shapes, these verticals,
      burn to mix with air
      and change our bones, skin, clothes
      to gases. Doctor,
      if only you could see
      how heaven pulls earth into its arms
      and how infinitely the heart expands 
      to claim this world, blue vapor without end.

      Lisel Mueller

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