And everything is the same and it is not the same . . .

(The Power of Silence)

“I like poems for many reasons,” he said. “One reason is that they catch the mood of warriors and explain what can hardly be explained.”

He conceded that poets were keenly aware of our connecting link with the spirit, but that they were aware of it intuitively, not in the deliberate, pragmatic way of sorcerers.

“Poets have no firsthand knowledge of the spirit,” he went on. “That is why their poems cannot really hit the center of true gestures for the spirit. They hit pretty close to it, though.”

He picked up one of my poetry books from a chair next to him, a collection by Juan Ramon Jimenez. He opened it to where he had placed a marker, handed it to me and signaled me to read.

 

Is it I who walks tonight in my room

or is it the beggar who was prowling in my garden at nightfall?

I look around and find that everything is the same

and it is not the same

Was the window open?

Had I not already fallen asleep?

Was not the garden pale green? . . .

The sky was clear and blue . . .

And there are clouds and it is windy

and the garden is dark and gloomy.

I think that my hair was black . . .

I was dressed in grey . . .

And my hair is grey

and I am wearing black . . .

Is this my gait?

Does this voice, which now resounds in me,

have the rhythms of the voice I used to have?

Am I myself or am I the beggar

who was prowling in my garden at nightfall?

I look around . . .

There are clouds and it is windy . . .

The garden is dark and gloomy . . .

I come and go . . .

Is it not true that I had already fallen asleep?

My hair is grey . . .

And everything is the same and it is not the same . . .