Tom D'Evelyn on Poetry and Its Others (philosophy, theology, poetics)
A whole poem? Yes: faithful to the ambiguities of the everyday and to the forms of otherness that light them up.
Elizabeth Bishop, “Objects & Apparitions: for Joseph Cornell.”
Monuments to every moment,
refuse of every moment, used:
cages for infinity.
Notice the finesse of the wording: “for” infinity. Not “of.” Infinity always already outside our boxes! But our boxes may hold promise as gifts “for” infinity: an offering, a sacrifice, a prayer, a hymn.
The juxtaposition of the language of finity — use (time/matter; contingency) — and infinity suggests Bishop is thinking in metaxological terms. In other poems, she dramatizes life in time as it opens to the life beyond time. See “The Moose.”