Friday, 14 October 2011

One of 52 sonnets written in 1999 by the Dutch poet Gerrit Komrij


High pressure

Draw a fictitious line. There lies your goal.
Although the law of Zeno and the snail
(Or tortoise?) still applies. Mark where the whole
Thing finishes, then set off on your trail,

Believing: I’ve the map here close at hand
- I’ll reach on time the finish of the race.
My journey’s all plain sailing, wholly planned -
Soon though you see the error of your ways.

The closer you approach the limit’s edge.
The more your goal appears to quite exclude you.
Even when it would seem to you that home’s

A millimetre off - it still eludes you.
The distance is compressed. That tiny wedge
Of nothing that resists is called a poem.

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