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Wednesday 18 April 2012
Cornfield by Moonlight, with the Evening Star : Samuel Palmer
This is the night creation changed.
Earth mirrored in the moon -
was ever moon this large and silvered,
or so gorged with light - too much
to play its usual game, reflecting sun's?
It spills its surplus on the hills.
The hills absorb it and become
a little more celestial, less part of earth.
Intensity of star - as bright
as any seen at Bethlehem - is surely
omen, magic sign or devilish illusion...
The farmhand feels it,
threat or promise,
looks up towards the Earth.
A changed perception fits him for
this new reality.
For dogs, of course,
Earth lies where it has always lain -
beneath the feet; runs,
fur-wrapped, through the stubble
and among the stooks. But even so,
an eye and ear are cocked
in case the moon
is on collision course with Earth.
Or is this merely
what the farmhand sees,
a vision that is his alone,
not open to the likes of us?
Or something that perhaps
the dog can smell? The sweetness
of the cut corn? A sharpness under foot?
Did Palmer sense it in the flow of paint?
The image is from Wikipedia.