Tuesday, November 3, 2009

We've been told to blog about discoveries. This is one that I actually made quite some time ago, when I first read through Pale Fire at the end of summer. Oh-so much didnt' register upon the intial reading, but something very striking happened. On page 37, in Canto 1 of the poem, there is the stanza up near the top of the page:

"One opal cloudlet in an oval form
Reflects the rainbow of a thunderstorm
Which in a distant valley has been staged--
For we are most artistically caged."
Well, I first read this in the morning; in late afternoon the same day, I went out for a walk along the country road near my house. It had sprinkled lightly earlier in the day, but was still nice. On the way home, I looked toward the west, and I saw in the distant sky this oval batch of cloud with an iridescent sort-of rainbow around the top edge of it. It was very beautiful, and I was very struck, encountering this image that I had read earlier in this, the "real world". Was it one of those cosmic instances of what Oscar Wilde called "Life imitating art"? Or was it my imagination drawing connections between two different instances of perception? In any event, it was very striking and indelible to me.

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