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January 9, 2009

The Spirit is too Blunt an Instrument — by Anne Stevenson

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The spirit is too blunt an instrument
to have made this baby.
Nothing so unskilful as human passions
could have managed the intricate
exacting particulars: the tiny
blind bones with their manipulating tendons,
the knee and the knucklebones, the resilient
fine meshings of ganglia and vertebrae
in the chain of the difficult spine.

Observe the distinct eyelashes and sharp crescent
fingernails, the shell-like complexity
of the ear with its firm involutions
concentric in miniature to the minute
ossicles. Imagine the
infinitesimal capillaries, the flawless connections
of the lungs, the invisible neural filaments
through which the completed body
already answers to the brain.

Then name any passion or sentiment
possessed of the simplest accuracy.
No. No desire or affection could have done
with practice what habit
has done perfectly, indifferently,
through the body's ignorant precision.
It is left to the vagaries of the mind to invent
love and despair and anxiety
and their pain.
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Job
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January 9, 2009 at 10:01 AM | Permalink


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Comments

Manna from heaven.

Thankyou

Posted by: gina | Jan 9, 2009 10:52:33 AM

I disagree. It is still a lovely poem though.

Posted by: Miles the dissenter | Jan 9, 2009 10:15:54 AM

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