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May 02 , 2008

Web of Spindled Time

A Poetic Point of View



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São Francisco de Assis

Os primeiros biógrafos de Francisco, naturalmente animados com a grande revolução religiosa operada por ele, olharam igualmente com naturalidade os seus primeiros anos com augúrios e sinais de um terremoto espiritual. Mas, escrevendo mais distanciado no tempo, não diminuiremos aquele efeito dramático, senão o aumentaremos, se considerarmos que na…

A Poetic Point of View

A...spiritual journey unspooled in free verse, short prose and original artwork...the image of spindled time perfectly captures the experience of encountering Henderson’s cosmic tome...This rhythmic alternation of inward and outward focus is one of Henderson’s persistent themes, introduced in the prologue—“Looking outward, at my world, / I observed the constant changes around me, / Peering inward, I analyzed / My own shifting feelings”—and revisited frequently, most memorably in several examples of concrete poetry...Elsewhere, various narrators on numerous “paths” and “journeys” invariably learn how much they do not yet know. In Blakean fashion, Henderson strives to deconstruct the tension of man simultaneously seeing himself as “the image of perfection” and as a “mere, and mortal, fool.” Wisdom, he suggests, lies in unifying both visions, often via paradox. In “The Flight of the Spirit,” for instance, the narrator laments, “I have searched for an escape. / But, death comes to all. / Escape then, is inevitable. / Life is short.” After further contemplation, however, he instead concludes that “chains are loosened by death. / The soul drifts into the freedom / Of eternity, / Forever has no end / If death is short / And life is everlasting.” For all its lofty philosophical inquiries, Henderson’s poetry is generally unadorned, marked by plain speech and the occasional simple rhyme scheme. Because the mystic nature of these revelations is likely to confound reason, the mind can be slow to reading in small doses may be the best approach.

Readers who see spiritual perfection as a journey, rather than a destination, will appreciate Henderson as a fellow traveler.

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