By Pierre Reverdy
Translated from French by means of Ron Padgett. PROSE POEMS is Peirre Reverdy's first number of poems, initially released in 1967. "I enjoyed its austerity, its spookiness, and what I speculated to be its cubism...Dedications--removed from later editions--were to Max Jacob, Pablo Gargallo, Henri Laurens, Marcelle Braque, Josette Gris, Andre point, Pablo Picasso, Leonce Rosenberg, Claude Laurens, Marthe Laurens, Juan Gris, Henri Matisse, and Georges Braque, all of whom have been neighbors or associates of the author"--Ron Padgett.
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I am the fire that kindles the stars, and the stars in your eyes. I am the precious jewel out of the bowels of the earth, gifted with beauty to bring radiance to all creatures. I am the sound that penetrates the hearts of all creatures. I am the water from the primeval ocean, where you slept in your mother's womb. I am the white sand kissed by the bubbling waves of the blue seas. I am the restless waves slapping the seashore of the industrialized world. I am the running water that gives joy to dying creatures.
I have discovered many treasures in the National Library at the Georges Pompidou Center in Paris. , poems of wonder and praise celebrating the gifts of nature and humankind's relationship to the natural world. I studied the Tao Te Ching, written some twenty-five hundred years ago by Lao Tzu. We know almost nothing about this poet, yet he expresses in stark simplicity the idea that human beings are to fit into and blend with creation and not the reverse. While these works were not new to me, I read them with a new depth of understanding.
Its few words strengthened my own Christian faith. Its power moved me into a greater sense of awe at the goodness of God's creation. As I continued my walk down the back side of Kurama through the bamboo forest, I knew that I had literally had a mountain-top experience. A door had been opened, and Page xiv before me lay a treasure trove. I was filled with an insatiable desire to discover the wealth of readings affirming the goodness of creation from other traditions of the world to add to the Christian sources.