Tag Archives: Proust

Odette

Moon as photographed from space by the Apollo 11 astronauts.

 
you have been the apple of our eye
oh near and naked neighbor

we have taken your dappled visage
as testament to the fluke heartbreaks
of gravity and fate

we have mapped each dusty poc,
for each crater is a passionate concession
of two rocks meeting

we’ve echoed your concave ripples
with our own silent rings of battle-

darkening eyes
circling fingers
stretching bellies-

for all generations we have watched you
dress and undress shining scars

and we see no evidence of love,
only the collision of two bodies.

Swann's Odette (detail from The Trials of Moses, Sandro Botticelli, 1481-1482)

First image found in
Mitton, Jacqueline. Cambridge Illustrated Dictionary of Astronomy. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007. p. 233.

Second image found in
Karpeles, Eric. Paintings in Proust. London: Thames & Hudson, 2008. p. 50.

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Wings, another respiratory system which allowed us to cross the immensity of space, would not help us.  For if we went to Mars or Venus while keeping the same senses, everything we might see there would take on the same aspect as the things we know on Earth.  The only real journey, the only Fountain of Youth, would be to travel not towards new landscapes, but with new eyes, to see the universe through the eyes of another, of a hundred others, to see the hundred universes that each of them can see, or can be; and we can do that with the help of an Elstir, a Vinteuil; with them and their like we can truly fly from star to star.

Proust, Marcel.  The Prisoner.  Trans.  Carol Clark.  Ed. Christopher Prendergast.  London: Allen Lane, 2002.  Vol. 5 of In Search of Lost Time.  6 vols. 1913-27.

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