Sunday, June 16, 2024

The World

I knaw the greit unstabilnes
Brukkill as glas

Cresseid referred to character,
Her own, and fate from the fickle gods,
Who rewarded her with leprosy

For daring to complain. But you know
Those phrases, the great unstableness
Of things, brittle as glass, your own way.

This is not the world. This is a poem
On the origin of frailty.
You could never drag the world in here,

Not even as a simple model.
And yet, you can’t keep frailty out.
You have to presume it’s pervasive,

The world’s frailty, its brittleness,
But unevenly distributed.
Cresseid must be exceptional

To make so many bad decisions.
You must also be exceptional,
To break over and over again.

Glass must be exceptional to crack,
To have become the type specimen
For brittleness. But it’s in the world.

It all begins in the world, the great
Unstableness that demands all change
And then the places where change is slow

And builds up to an unevenness,
Potentially discontinuous,
As when a bone breaks or a poem ends.

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