“Burning with tears on the still sunlit roads”

Listen!

Burning with tears on the still sunlit roads,
Aeneas follows the father’s path,
One of betrayal complete, with no opportunity to repeat,
Repent, or go back. Lorraine
Knew pain, they all did, said Auden, in the picture gallery,
Pausing before Claude’s light in the smoky overhead light of London on a winter’s afternoon.

But we must go on, burning with tears on the still sunlit roads,
To Poussin, and Blind Orion in search of the rising sun.
If you rape the king of Chios’ Daughter,
It isn’t enough to “wash your feet in soda water”,
No, you must find the source of the rising sun,
With a goofy looking miniature guide on your shoulder.

Mon cher maitre, chante du Cygne be with me
Et cum spiritu tu tuo. To Rome shall I go,
Burning with tears on the still and sunlit roads.

In the tropics the sun goes down
Fast, but in the north it takes a while.
And also in Sydney and places, of that Kidney.
And in the gathering gloom the light is on the highest places.
We do not see until blind, ’tis an old thought,
But one certainly worth repeating.

Edward G. Nilges, 27 Nov 2011. Moral rights have been asserted by the author, so don’t get gay with me.

Nicholas Poussin, “Blind Orion in Search of the Rising Sun”

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