Friday Poem

“Self expression is the source of all abasement, just as, counterwise, it is the basis for all true elevation. The first step is introspection— exclusive contemplation of the self. But whoever stops there goes only half the way. The second step must be genuine observation outward—spontaneous, sober observation of the external world.” —Novalis, 1800

The Delights of the Door

Kings do not touch doors.
They know nothing of this joy: to push gently or fiercely
one of those huge panels so well known,
then turning back to replace it
—holding a door in our arms.

The pleasure of grabbing the midriff
of one of these tall barriers to a room
by its porcelain node; the short clinch
during which forward motion stops,
the eye opens, and the whole body
adjusts to its new surroundings.

But one friendly hand still holds it
before decisively pushing it away,
shutting oneself in, which the click
of the well-oiled spring pleasantly confirms.

Francis Ponge
from News of the Universe
Sierra Club Books, 1995