Saturday, February 25, 2012

No limits in a Dorothea Tanning poem

I'm still thinking about Dorothea Tanning--and her dates--1910 to 2012.  She wasn't one of the cigarette-smoking, National Geographic women of the Caucasus Mountains, blowing smoke across the Black Sea while outliving most Americans. 

She was an American woman with an incredible story, its narrative being one of art and writing, geography and romance.   

All homes are homes; mirages / everywhere. 

Here is another* of her poems, exemplar of a spirit too expansive for limitation of land or death.   

*The other posted here on February 1.

The sunflower is by Richard Gilkey, who, as far as I know, has no connection with Tanning. He was one of the Northwest School artists.

Are You?

If an expatriate is, as I believe, someone
who never forgets for an instant
being one,
then, no.

But, if knowing that you always
tote your country around
with you, your roots,
a lump

like a soul that will never leave you
stranded in alien subsets of
yourself, or your wild

that being elsewhere packs a vertigo,
a tightrope side you cannot
pass up, another way
to show

how not to break your pretty neck
falling on skylights:

then, yes. All homes are home; mirages
everywhere. Aside from
gravity, there are no

never were, nor will there ever be,
no here and there to foil
your lotus-dreaming

Stay on the planet, if you can. It isn't
all that chilly and what's more,
grows warmer by the
Dorothea Tanning, from A Table of Content, Graywolf Press, 2004. (GREAT title). 

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