A Garden of Inspiration

New York

“While Socrates is pronouncing his subtle and solemn words, our eyes remain fastened on Athikte, while she tries to make us see that which Socrates is seeking to tell us. She moves through jewels, makes gestures like scintillations, filches impossible attitudes from nature, so that Eryximachus says, ‘Instant engenders form, and form makes the instant visible’.” —

“Two Prefaces” by Wallace Stevens in Dialogues, Paul Valery.

Monet’s Garden at the New York Botanical Garden and the Monet to Mallarme Poetry Walk, the brilliant collaborative creation of the Botanical Garden and the Poetry Society of America, are breathtakingly beautiful.

Reading the sixteen poems of Baudelaire, Verlaine, Mallarme, and Rimbaud on panels along the pathway to the garden’s glorious presentation of a bit of Monet’s Giverny, brought Paul Valery’s Dialogues to mind.

Also, the work of a poet new to me, Andrew Seguin.

“I should now have need of that delicate power which is peculiar to the bee, as it is the sovereign good of the dancer…My mind would need that force and concentrated movement which suspends the insect above the multitude of flowers; which make of it the vibrant arbiter of the diversity of their corollas; which present it as it wills to this or that flower, to that rose a little farther off…”

Socrates in Valery’s Dance and Soul

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