che cosa abbiamo dato?

Allora il tuono parlò
Datta: che cosa abbiamo dato?
Amico mio, sangue che scuote il mio cuore,
l’ardire tremendo di un momento d’abbandono
che una vita di prudenza non potrà ritrattare.
In questo – e solo in questo – noi esistemmo,
che non ritrovi nei nostri necrologi
o sulle lapidi drappeggiate
dal benefico ragno
o sotto i sigilli rotti dallo sparuto notaio
nelle nostre vuote stanze.

da Il paese guasto (La terra desolata) – V. Quello che disse il tuono, di T.S.Eliot, Stampalternativa, a cura di Angiolo Bandinelli

A little romance is essential to ecstasy. We are all selfish – Self Denial doesn’t seem to be a good thing expecting in others – the world holds an unoccupied niche only for those who climb up – work and study, study and work – are worth a decade of dreams – and romantic notions – but I do not believe in being so thoroughly practical that what is beautiful, what is artistic – what is delicate or what is grand – must always be deferred to what is useful. And there is no better exercise than an effort to do our best to appreciate and describe to others the beauties of those things which are denied to the vision of the absent.


When we try to picture what we see, the purely imaginary is transcended, like listening in the dark we seem to really hear what we are listening for – but describing real objects one can draw straight or curved lines and the thing may be  mathematically demonstrated – but who does not prefer the sunlight – and the shadow reflected.
Point in all this screed – Paint truth but not always in drab clothes.
Catch the reflected sun-rays, get pleasurable emotions – instead of stings and tears.
I must have eaten something at dinner that dispelled my humour (…)
The funniest thing about this letter is that isn’t a bit of fun in it.


Garret Barcalow Stevens in una lettera al figlio del 27 settembre 1897

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