When the Riders in Cezanne’s “The Pool at the Jas de Bouffan”Stuart Greenhouse
i. When they rode in a column like light angled in past the pigment when not stopping at the crude bronze horse nosing bronze water when arrayed by thirst around the spring basin they let their reins slack when the horses in that slight freedom nosed the basin to drink sturdy waves of dry grass at their feet when one rider read from the stone slab at the basin’s head which is shaped like a tombstone when he told me it was no tombstone but a slab at the head of a basin is when the stone’s words rippled to water-reflected sunlight is when the riders without leaving no longer took shape is when the shape of the quiet painted there seemed no less than words amazed to be uttered yet no tongue in sight ii. William Blake wrote “Nothing can be imagined that is not part of the Truth” on the far side, from me, of the now this painting was. Before they approached, I was feeling my way into basin and light and grass and late summer, and just as all things that can fill our hearts are there is how we come into this world, so light adjusts itself to the edge water makes with air. So as we pass a stone beside a pool on a sunny day can give the impression of being faintly engraved with words now one thing, now another; peripheral words we manage, with concentration, to read once yet take to heart, words always some version of let’s remember ourselves this way, this is the happy ending we’ve been waiting for.
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