Richard Howard, author of Inner Voices and Paper Trail and acclaimed translator, died this week in Manhattan. He was 92. In honor of his memory, we would like to share “Like Most Revelations” from his collection Inner Voices: Selected Poems 1963-2003.
“Like Most Revelations”
It is the movement that incites the form,
discovered as a downward rapture—yes,
it is the movement that delights the form,
sustained by its own velocity. And yet
it is the movement that delays the form
while darkness slows and encumbers; in fact
it is the movement that betrays the form,
baffled in such toils of ease, until
it is the movement that deceives the form,
beguiling our attention—we supposed
it is the movement that achieves the form.
Were we mistaken? What does it matter if
it is the movement that negates the form?
Even though we give (give up) ourselves
to this mortal process of continuing
it is the movement that creates the form.
Richard Howard teaches in the School of the Arts at Columbia University, USA. He has also translated works by Barthes, Foucault and Todorov.