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1000 Black Lines

:: digital coffee stains on the paper of the blogosphere ::

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Instead of graphic design or marketing posting, I thought I’d post an excerpt from a book I just finished reading. The book is Dark Harbor: A Poem by Mark Strand

The folded memory of our great and singular elevations,
The tragic slapping of vowels to produce tears. . .

Shaping the soul’s solemn sounds on the edge of speech
That carry the fullness of intention and the emptiness
Of achievement. . .

This passage reminds me of the writings from Ecclesiastes: “Then I observed that most people are motivated to success by their envy of their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless, like chasing the wind.”

  1. Blogger woody | 9:08 PM, August 10, 2004 |  

    I'm left with a swirling mistiness after reading the excerpt.

    Guess that's rather close to the traditional meaning of vanity.

  2. Blogger 1000 black lines | 6:00 PM, August 17, 2004 |  

    I'm not sure the poet is suggesting vanity. If you read the complete poem, the main character is searching for acceptance or a harbor of security by stating that achievements are cold reminders of isolation. The meaninglessness of achievement without purpose is implied in that passage. But I won't ruin the ending. The title suggests the conclusion.

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