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from the August 2007 issue


This poem could be a face
Not the right one, but the true one. Analogies deal with relationships that hold. It

Speaks. The poem's similarity to the face consists, among other things, in the poet's
capacity to see it from inside and struggle to regard it as an outsider. Without

ever entirely succeeding. A mirror might be helpful.

In Pindar's seventh Nemean Ode he compares song to a mirror. Memory's. The face
A sounding mirror. The poem. A mirror of sound. Can we call this an analogy?

I try to imagine what you see. How I look when I think of this topos of from inside or
outside. To reveal
is to conceal. To oscillate between things which cannot be made one

As a metaphor for theoretical knowledge transparency is comically opaque, at least with
respect to poetry. High clear space. Gaze deeply into the well of the poem, where
the moon glitters in the black

water. I saw a long line of antique mirrors in the museum. Archeological goods, a
dime a dozen. Burnished metal. Dark inside. But isn't song always transparent?
Words never. Yes maybe

it is only when the poem longs for simplicity
that it can actually become like

like a face

From Ögonblicket är för Pindaros ett litet rum i tiden [The Moment for Pindar Is a Small Space in Time] (Stockholm: Wahlström & Widstrand, 2006). Copyright Magnus William-Olsson. Translation copyright 2007 by Rika Lesser. All rights reserved.

Read Magnus William-Olsson's (Parousía)

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