Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Anaxagoras, by D. H. Lawrence

When Anaxagoras says: The snow is black!
he is taken by the scientists very seriously
because he is enunciating a ‘principle’, a ‘law’
that all things are mixed, and therefore the purest white snow
has in it an element of blackness.

That they call science, and reality.
I call it mental conceit and mystification
and nonsense, for pure snow is white to us
white and white and only white
with a lovely bloom of whiteness upon white
in which the soul delights and the senses
have an experience of bliss.

And life is for delight, and for bliss
and dread, and the dark, rolling ominousness of doom
then the bright dawning of delight again
from off the sheer white snow, or the poisoned moon.

And in the shadow of the sun the snow is blue, so blue-aloof
with a hint of the frozen bells of the scylla flower
But never the ghost of a glimpse of Anaxagoras’ funeral black.

— D. H. Lawrence, ‘Anaxagoras’

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