en dancant avec les jonquilles à Antibes
I remembered. It was like a lightening bolt flashing through a dark cloud with a thunderclap following it.
I do not think about squaring a circle; I do not have my mind above the clouds.
I write with “brick for stone” and smudge “it with slime and with pitch,” but saying that I do not fail to note in the clouds, the crowning moments of celebrated poets, such as Percy Shelley and William Wordsworth. It means a great deal to me to have read them.
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
I cannot soar to the clouds. Hélas ! But the sun continues to rise and set, I look to the boundary between the Mediterranean Sea and the Cap d’Antibes and know it cannot be confounded, I will always be able to put my finger into water and not through a wall, I will surely die in a furnace, nor can I be in Portland, Oregon and New York City and Antibes at once. Even when my ambition lets me down, it is something that my will holds me.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
I am troubled when I look to the clouds, thinking of their promises or augury of troubles, and trip over what lies at my feet. I remember. I have time enough to account for myself rather than what hovers.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
I write without an idea on a subject, and by chance I come across a similar topic in authors whom I admire. I see myself as weak, inadequate, lumbering even and dull compared to them, and I begin to wallow in scorn and self pity. But then I do smile and congratulate myself. My thoughts coincide with their thoughts. I may trail far behind them, but I do give a cheer and acknowledge the vast difference between them and me. What one sees here is flimsy and ineffective, but I will let it be seen, without additional pitch and slime to cover the weaknesses. You need a strong backbone if you assume to parade shoulder to shoulder with poets like Shelley and Wordsworth.
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
I am happy and master of myself each day when I write and I say, “I live. Tomorrow the skies may fill with dark clouds or with sunshine, but today I take pleasure in the present. I trouble myself not about what may lie in the future.”