Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Mirror

I keep having the same dream.
It seems to be forcing me to return
to the bittersweet site
of my grandfather's house,
where I was born on the table
Forty years ago.

Something always prevents me from entering.
I keep having this dream.

When I dream of the log walls
and dark pantry
I sense that it's only a dream.

Then the joy is clouded
for I know I'll wake up.

Sometimes something happens
and I stop dreaming
of the house
and the pines by the house of my childhood.

Then I grieve
and wait for the dream
that will make me a child again
and I'll be happy again, knowing
that all still lies ahead
and nothing is impossible.

from The Mirror, directed by Andrei Tarkovsky, written by Aleksandr Misharin and Andrei Tarkovsky



P.S. I'm on a quest. Perhaps I can plant its seed in your mind. Through Tarkovsky's films I've come to admire his father's poetry. But so far I haven't managed to find a book of Arseny Tarkovsky's poetry translated into English. If you're browsing in a used bookstore somewhere someday and see such a volume, do buy it for me.

P.P.S. My first experience of such a viral, vicarious quest was through a friend of mine, who asked me to keep an eye out for a frig magnet of a cow. Silly enough. But whenever I would see frig magnets for sale I would think of him and look for a magnet of a cow. His quest had become mine...


Bombay Beauty said...

A bonus... Here's a poem by Arseny, which he reads in the film.

We celebrated each moment
of our meetings as a revelation
alone in all the world.

You were lighter and bolder
than the wing of a bird
flying down the stairs two at a time
pure giddiness,
leading me through moist lilac
to your domain beyond the looking glass.

When night fell
I was favored.

The altar gates were opened
and in the darkness there gleamed
your nudity, and I slowly bowed.

Awakening, "Be blessed," I said
and knew my blessing to be bold
for you still slept.

The lilac on the table stretched forth
to touch your lids with heavenly blue
and your blue-tinted lids were calm,
and your hand was warm.

Locked in crystal,
rivers pulsed,
mountains smoked
seas glimmered.

You held a sphere of crystal
in your hand and slept on a throne.

And -- righteous Lord! --
you were mine.

You awakened and transformed
our mundane, human words.

Then did my throat
fill with new power
and give new meaning to "you"
which now meant "sovereign."

All was transformed
even such simple things
as basin, pitcher,
when, like a sentinel,
layered, solid water lay between us.

We were drawn on and on
where cities built by magic
parted before us like mirages.

Mint carpeted our way,
birds escorted us,
and fish swam upstream,
while the sky spread out before us
as Fate followed in our wake
like a madman brandishing a razor.

If Jane said...

oh i love his father's poetry as well...sadly i have never landed on a copy...but if i do...for you and me both...i shall buy it!

Claire * Lola Is Beauty said...

You have a deal and I have another reason to lurk around in second hand bookshops!

Claire * Lola Is Beauty said...

Do I win the Beaujolais or do you have this one?!

shopgirl said...

It's amazing how words can be weaved into such amazing imagery.

Thanks for sharing this. The bonus poem is even more amazing.

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