O. K. but after all...

"O.K., BUT AFTER ALL, WHAT GOOD IS LITERATURE?

I

on the label of this bottle

there is an eagle      with outspread wings

 

some commercial artist no doubt poorly paid      took great pains drawing it

when we look at it

do we see the eagle he imagined?

or some remembered eagle?

or, perhaps, the idea of an eagle?

or do we see the eagle that now, this moment,
spreads its wings
                                            on the bottle of Medoc?

 

 

II

just below the eagle a chateau displays its facade before our eyes

thanks to the careful use of the laws of perspective and with a little goodwill on our part

it creates an illusion of reality

and the gentle suggestion      of clouds against a sky

made of black dots gives the impression of a sunny day

III

 

the neck of the bottle

shot through with light

is a contrast of greens

some dark

some luminous

right now

these greens

speak a language

clearer

than human language

which after all

at its most ambitious

is but an attempt

to decipher it

 

or perhaps

not an attempt

to decipher

what is after all

not in code

but an attempt

to encode it?

 

IV

 

when I give it a little thought

I realize

that the language of computers

and that of poetic images

are simply two languages

one as valid                           as the other

I say this perfectly aware of the shocking nature

 

of such a statement

however

why not acknowledge that myth for example

is a language that now        because it is alien

seems suggestive mysterious rich

truer than others only because its grammar is unknown to us?