Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

One Version of Events

Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

One Version of Events

Article excerpt

If indeed we were allowed to choose,

we must have been mulling things over for a long time.

The bodies offered us were uncomfortable

and wore out dreadfully.

The measn of satisfyting hunger

sickened us.

The passive inheritance of traits

and the tyranny of organs

put us off.

A world that was meant to surround us,

was in endless decay.

The effects of causes wreaked heavy havoc on it.

Of all those fates

given to us for inspection

most we rejected

in sorrow and horror.

Questions arose such as these:

what use is there in the painful delivery

of a dead child?

And why be a sailor

who never reaches port?

We agreed to death

but not in every form.

Love attracted us,

sure, but a love

that kept its word.

The fickleness of judgments

and impermanence of masterpieces

scared us off

from the service of art.

Everyone wanted a homeland without neighbors

and to live their entire lives

in the interval between wars.

None of us wanted to seize power

or be subject to it,

none of us wanted to fall victim

to our own delusions or anyone else's.

There were no volunteers

for tight crowds, parades,

and even less so for vanishing tribes;

but without them, history

never would have been able to march on

through centuries foreseen.

Meanwhile a goodly number

of lighted stars

had gone out and grown cold,

It was high time for a decision.

After many reservations

there finally appeared a few candidates

for discoverers and healers,

for philosophers without acclaim,

for several anonymous gardeners,

musicians, and conjurers

- though fear want of other submissions

even these lives

couldn't be fulfilled. …

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