Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Paul Klee

The retrospective view at the end of the year
should perhaps be taken more seriously than before.

It's not such a harmless pass-time
to bring children into the world.

Bluish across the horizon,
phosphorescing sheet-lightning.

I, as actor, with folded arms
at the centre of the circle:
"Let it lightning!"

The pose, meanwhile, didn't last long.
One becomes in the course of one day,
for a while, a bit larger,
and then a bit smaller again.

Something of the spirit
of Joseph the carpenter
is also appropriate
to such a small-scale patriarch.

Something of the sublimity,
something of the pretension,
something of the bizarre,
something of the spiritual,
all lying under lock and key.

--Paul Klee

tr. Harriet Watts

in Three Painter-Poets: Arp/Schwitters/Klee
[Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1974]


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