Wednesday, November 11, 2009

"The descent beckons / as the ascent beckoned."

On November 11, 1864, Union General William Tecumseh Sherman began burning Atlanta, Georgia to the ground in preparation for his march south - known as Sherman’s March to the Sea. In the process of moving towards Savannah his troops tore up the railroad tracks and destroyed as much property as possible along the way…

Photo of Sherman’s men destroying tracks near Atlanta, by George N. Barnard - Library of Congress

November 11, 1926 - US Highway Route 66 was established, a road that was to become the main way out of the dust-bowl for refugees in the 30s and a major tourist highway lined with motels and weird roadside attractions in the 50s

The descent beckons
as the ascent beckoned.
Memory is a kind
of accomplishment,
a sort of renewal
an initiation, since the spaces it opens are new places
inhabited by hordes
heretofore unrealized,
of new kinds—
since their movements
are toward new objectives
(even though formerly they were abandoned).

No defeat is made up entirely of defeat—since
the world it opens is always a place
unsuspected. A
world lost,
a world unsuspected,
beckons to new places
and no whiteness (lost) is so white as the memory
of whiteness .

With evening, love wakens
though its shadows
which are alive by reason
of the sun shining—
grow sleepy now and drop away
from desire .

Love without shadows stirs now
beginning to awaken
as night

The descent
made up of despairs
and without accomplishment
realizes a new awakening:
which is a reversal
of despair.
For what we cannot accomplish, what
is denied to love,
what we have lost in the anticipation—
a descent follows,
endless and indestructible
----william carlos williams

thanks to ordinary finds for the memories.

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