Tuesday, May 10, 2011


[Poem traced from a Google translation of Gilson's Philosophie du Moyen Age as quoted in Ezra Pound's "Cavalcanti" (LE, p. 160.)]

"This French summary is most able, and most lucid. It is far more suggestive of the canzone, Donna mi Prega, than the original Latin of Grosseteste." (E.P.)

Light is a substance, a subtle body,
close to intangible, self-engendered, the same,
constant and spreading, spherical.

Take a bright point, my love,
instantly engendered. Around this point,
posit a huge luminous sphere.

The scattered light can be thwarted.

Either it encounters a darkness
and stops, or it reaches the extreme limit,
a scarcity, and the light ends.

The tenuous stuff of which all things are made,
it is also the first shape of the body, and is
what some have called the corporeal.

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