Ovid in TearsLove is like a garden in the heart, he said.They asked him what he meant by garden.He explained about gardens. “In the cities,”he said, “there are places walled off where colorand decorum are magnified into a civilization.Like a beautiful woman,” he said. How likea woman, they asked. He remembered their wivesand said garden was just a figure of speech,then called for drinks all around. Two roundslater he was crying. Talking about how Charlemagnecouldn’t read but still made a world. About HagiaSophia and putting a round dome on a squarebase after nine hundred years of failure.The hand holding him slipped and he fell.“White stone in the white sunlight,” he saidas they picked him up. “Not the great firesbuilt on the edge of the world.” His voice grewfainter as they carried him away. “Both the melodyand the symphony. The imperfect dancingin the beautiful dance. The dance most of all.”—Jack GilbertArt Credit Matthew Metzger, Coalescence of a Memory, oil on canvas, 50 x 32 in, via Escape Into Life

Ovid in Tears

Love is like a garden in the heart, he said.
They asked him what he meant by garden.
He explained about gardens. “In the cities,”
he said, “there are places walled off where color
and decorum are magnified into a civilization.
Like a beautiful woman,” he said. How like
a woman, they asked. He remembered their wives
and said garden was just a figure of speech,
then called for drinks all around. Two rounds
later he was crying. Talking about how Charlemagne
couldn’t read but still made a world. About Hagia
Sophia and putting a round dome on a square
base after nine hundred years of failure.
The hand holding him slipped and he fell.
“White stone in the white sunlight,” he said
as they picked him up. “Not the great fires
built on the edge of the world.” His voice grew
fainter as they carried him away. “Both the melody
and the symphony. The imperfect dancing
in the beautiful dance. The dance most of all.”

Jack Gilbert
Art Credit Matthew Metzger, Coalescence of a Memory, oil on canvas, 50 x 32 in, via Escape Into Life

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