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The Entangled Bank              David LaMotte

A List of Gerunds – A Guide to the Doings of the Real Work


                Gerund, from Latin gerere, to bear, to carry, to do...


Walking

The defining action of this animal who goes upright on two legs and scans the horizon with its stereoscopic vision... the dance of accident and intention...  the same walk always new... repetition and variation... the more you look, the more you see... bounded but infinite... out and back again... the harmony of a day’s walk and a lifetime... so that walking becomes a form of


Staying

Come live with me and be my love... stay for a while, the earth says to the light... the breath’s delay in song... the poem as “a momentary stay against confusion”... form as “an invitation to stay here for a while”...  the keeping of commitments, even to the unknown... We have to make a clearing, and that means


Cutting

And rendering account... from putare, to reckon or think, but also to cut or prune... the basic human impulse to make a clearing in the woods, to cut a path, to shape meaning from the flow of events, to clearcut what we do not understand...  the axe-helve and the uncarved block... And when the cutting is done we come to


Making Hay

Actually, the hay makes, intransitive verb, under the influence of  air and sunlight.  But we, in our Enlightenment, turned it around,  made ourselves the agent and the hay the object... the dancer or the dance?... all flesh is grass... and the leaves are


Falling

The Latin verb, cadere, to fall, is the root of... accident, incident, coincidence, cadence, casual, occasion... as in “the poem is the cry of its occasion”...  all poetry is deeply occasional... once upon a time...  one day, it fell out that... what falls away is always and is near... the fall of energy through form... dissipative structure... the poem rides on its own melting... We think by feeling. What is there to know?


Knowing Nothing

How do we know a thing?  By what it is not...  seer of shadows... creature of edges and ecotones... the listener in the snow... who knows in singing not to sing... What is there to know?.... Nothing will come of nothing... Dark energy... If you really want to know, then you have to try


Making Believe

We do not make the hay, but we do tell the story... I went to turn the grass once after one/ who mowed it in the dew before the sun... I shall be telling this with a sigh/ somewhere ages and ages hence... Since he means to come to a door, he will come to a door... believing the future in... Lord, I believe; help thou my unbelief... as if in a peculiar sense I stood in the laboratory of the Artist who made the world and me... all hail as if...