After having found Czeslaw Milosz’s poetry anthology, A Book of Luminous Things, for dollars at a used bookstore, I hurried it home and kept it on top of a pile of books for weeks so I could see it every day and anticipate opening it up.  Such a nerd.  And then it got covered up in other books and I didn’t see it again for months.  This is the day, though, when I begin the journey with Milosz through centuries of epiphanies.  Moments-made-eternity.  This is nothing less than a display case, or museum, of the world’s finest jewels, or gardens, or what have you.

The first section in the book is “Epiphany.”  Milozs writes, “Epiphany is an unveiling of reality.  What in Greek was called ephiphaneia meant the appearance, the arrival, of a divinity among mortals or its recognition under a familiar shape of man or woman.  Epiphany thus interrupts the everyday flow of time and enters as one privileged moment when we intuitively grasp a deeper, more essential reality hidden in things or persons” (3).  Poetry imposes a certain form, he says, on these moments of epiphany, as do paintings, drawings.  A form that has everything to do with the perception, the instant the reality is unveiled, and it’s profoundly clear that God is nearer than we knew.  Today’s poem:

Kikaku, 1661 – 1707

Above the boat,
bellies
of wild geese.

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