The Book of a Thousand Eyes [A dream, still clinging like light to the dark, rounding]

Lyn Hejinian

 
A dream, still clinging like light to the dark, rounding
The gap left by things which have already happened
Leaving nothing in their place, may have nothing to do
But that. Dreams are like ghosts achieving ghosts' perennial goal
Of revoking the sensation of repose. It's terrible
To think we write these things for them, to tell them
Of our life—that is, our whole life. Along comes a dream
Of a machine. Why? What is being sold there? How is the product
emitted?
It must have been sparked by a noise, the way the very word "spark"
emits a brief picture. Is it original? Inevitable?
We seem to sleep so as to draw the picture
Of events that have already happened so we can picture
Them. A dream for example of a procession to an execution site.
How many strangers could circle the space while speaking of nostalgia
And of wolves in the hills? We find them
Thinking of nothing instead—there's no one to impersonate, nothing
To foresee. It's logical that prophesies would be emitted
Through the gaps left by previous things, or by the dead
Refusing conversation and contemplating beauty instead.
But isn’t that the problem with beauty—that it's apt in retrospect
To seem preordained? The dawn birds are trilling
A new day—it has the psychical quality of "pastness"  and they are trailing
It. The day breaks in an imperfectly continuous course
Of life. Sleep is immediate and memory nothing.
 
From The Book of a Thousand Eyes by Lyn Hejinian, published by Omnidawn. Copyright © 2012 by Lyn Hejinian. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Poems by This Author

Happily [excerpt] by Lyn Hejinian
The manner in which we are present at this time to and fro appears, we come to point of view before us
The Book of a Thousand Eyes [I love says the acrobat] by Lyn Hejinian
The Book of a Thousand Eyes [Rain, queen] by Lyn Hejinian
The Book of a Thousand Eyes [The Lost Pines Inn would be a good name for a motel] by Lyn Hejinian
The Book of a Thousand Eyes [To achieve reality] by Lyn Hejinian
To achieve reality
The Future by Lyn Hejinian
Unfollowed Figment by Lyn Hejinian
Useless lighthouse, and the bucket on the beach, the tattered begonias


Further Reading

Related Poems
Another Rehearsal for Morning
by Joseph Massey
Dreams
Monna Innominata [I dream of you, to wake]
by Christina Rossetti
A Bedtime Story For Mr. Lamb
by Arthur Nevis
A Book Said Dream and I Do
by Barbara Ras
A Dream Within a Dream
by Edgar Allan Poe
Bedside
by William Olsen
Counting
by Douglas Goetsch
Cradle Song
by William Blake
Darkness
by George Gordon Byron
Dear Tiara
by Sean Thomas Dougherty
Dream In Which I Meet Myself
by Lynn Emanuel
Dream of the Evil Servant
by Reetika Vazirani
Dream Song 1
by John Berryman
Dream Variations
by Langston Hughes
Dreaming About My Father
by Ed Ochester
Flying
by Sarah Arvio
Grasshopper
by Ron Padgett
He Dreams of Falling
by Ruth Ellen Kocher
His Heart
by Caroline Knox
I am Like a Desert Owl, an Owl Among the Ruins
by Noelle Kocot
I Might Have Dreamed This
by Kirsten Dierking
it was a dream
by Lucille Clifton
Japanese Lullaby
by Eugene Field
Joyride
by Ana Božičević
Kristin's Dream In November
by Bernadette Mayer
Last
by Maxine Scates
Lullaby of an Infant Chief
by Sir Walter Scott
Making the Bed
by Burt Kimmelman
My Bright Aluminum Tumblers
by Michael Ryan
Nocturne
by Wayne Miller
O Little Root of a Dream
by Paul Celan
Our eunuch dreams
by Dylan Thomas
Prologue of the Earthly Paradise
by William Morris
Raven's Last Dream
by Red Hawk
Scarecrow on Fire
by Dean Young
Separation is the necessary condition for light.
by Brian Teare
The Dream of the Just
by Dana Gelinas
The Dreamer
by Djuna Barnes
The Good-Morrow
by John Donne
The House
by Richard Wilbur
The Land of Nod
by Robert Louis Stevenson
The Republic of Dreams
by Michael Palmer
The Sandman
by Margaret Thomson Janvier
The Sleepers
by Walt Whitman
The Song in the Dream
by Saskia Hamilton
The Tower
by W. B. Yeats
Variation on the Word Sleep
by Margaret Atwood
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod
by Eugene Field