Travelogue LXIV: Venice I: Love Calls Us to the Things of This World

October 14, 2015 Ever since having been introduced to Richard Wilbur’s superb Love Calls Us to the Things of This World in a Sunday School class over a decade ago, I have been searching for a place like the one described in the poem. Who knew I would have to travel to Giudecca, a tiny island in the Mediterranean off the coast of Venice, to find it?

The morning air in Italy is all awash with angels, people.
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Love Calls Us to the Things of This World

The eyes open to a cry of pulleys, 
And spirited from sleep, the astounded soul   
Hangs for a moment bodiless and simple   
As false dawn. 
                     Outside the open window   
The morning air is all awash with angels. 

    Some are in bed-sheets, some are in blouses,   
Some are in smocks: but truly there they are.   
Now they are rising together in calm swells   
Of halcyon feeling, filling whatever they wear   
With the deep joy of their impersonal breathing; 

    Now they are flying in place, conveying 
The terrible speed of their omnipresence, moving   
And staying like white water; and now of a sudden   
They swoon down into so rapt a quiet 
That nobody seems to be there. 
                                             The soul shrinks 

    From all that it is about to remember, 
From the punctual rape of every blessèd day, 
And cries, 
               “Oh, let there be nothing on earth but laundry,   
Nothing but rosy hands in the rising steam 
And clear dances done in the sight of heaven.”

 

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  Yet, as the sun acknowledges 
With a warm look the world’s hunks and colors,   
The soul descends once more in bitter love   
To accept the waking body, saying now 
In a changed voice as the man yawns and rises,   
    “Bring them down from their ruddy gallows; 
Let there be clean linen for the backs of thieves;   
Let lovers go fresh and sweet to be undone,   
And the heaviest nuns walk in a pure floating   
Of dark habits, 
   keeping their difficult balance.”
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2 thoughts on “Travelogue LXIV: Venice I: Love Calls Us to the Things of This World

  1. I especially love the pillow case in the last picture with the green crocheted edge. Makes me want to make one. Granny

    From: Emily Abroad To: crgoodling@yahoo.com Sent: Wednesday, October 14, 2015 4:38 AM Subject: [New post] Travelogue LXIV: Venice I: Love Calls Us to the Things of This World #yiv4887193812 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv4887193812 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv4887193812 a.yiv4887193812primaryactionlink:link, #yiv4887193812 a.yiv4887193812primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv4887193812 a.yiv4887193812primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv4887193812 a.yiv4887193812primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv4887193812 WordPress.com | EmilyAbroad posted: “October 14, 2015 Ever since having been introduced to Richard Wilbur’s superb Love Calls Us to the Things of This World in a Sunday School class over a decade ago, I have been searching for a place like the one described in the poem. Who knew I would have” | |

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