Some marginal notes on ‘Nocturne’ (1951)

Stanza I: The moon hides its (true) character of being a rocky planet, a landscape of stone.

Stanza II: The poet’s heart compels him to adore ‘Her’. This is not a christian view.

Stanza III: The poet’s mind realizes that the moon is in fact “a bunch of barren crater”, indifferent to human life. But he presumes that the Moon-godess will not reveal this.

Stanza IV:  His “tougher mind” (pertinent thought) admits that both the poet’s heart and his (weaker) mind are both “worshippers of force” (cf. Henry Adams, ‘The Dynamo and the Virgin’). That is not what the poet wants to be.

Stanza V: Forget about a Godess of the Moon: she is a “faceless dynamo”.  (Please note that by the “Vírgin” in Stanza II not Maria, the Blessed Virgin in Christianity, is meant, but Venus)

Stanza VI: The poet’s  real nature  is between the nature of myth and the nature of a machine. (See Stanza VII). The poet is not a mental or spiritual hero, not a saint, but rather a “small functionary”.

Stanza VII + VIII:  See remark on Stanza VII. The moon should have the face of one of one’s neighbours (in the biblical sense of the word). x = any neighbour, who will have a face and will not be an x anymore, once you met him/her face to face.

Stanza IX: Examples of ‘neighbours’ you would not immediately love, but who are nonetheless  your neighbour.

Stanza X: The “gushing lady” and the “hang-dog” (Stanza IX) balance the poet’s ever luring solipsism and the machinelike world of the State.


About this entry