Sargon Boulus - Knife Sharpener

Poetry and Memory

"I am here. Those three words contain all that can be said - you begin with those words and you return to them. Here means on this earth, on this continent, and no other , in this city and no other, and this epoch I call mine, this century, this year. I was given no other place, no other time, and I touch my desk to defend myself against the feeling that my own body is transient. This is all very fundamental, but after all, the science of life depends on the gradual discovery of fundamental truths."  —— Czeslaw Milosz ( Knife Sharpener, 14 )

......So the function of  memory is not simple: one needs to know the words and what they mean, but one needs also to forget the settings in which they were found.

Willingly or not, I keep going back and forth into the past. Poetry is a great method of mining the hidden areas of what has been lived through, the shadowy regions where endless discoveries lie awaiting you, all that material that has made you what you are; the places where you have lived, the times and circumstances, all the things that have shaped you. So, for me, the process of going back through memory is very important, back into those details that do not exist in anybody's head but mine. Childhood, then, is a magical source that lies between shadow and light, so deeply embedded in the past that it is always possible to evoke it with new shadings that may fall into the realm of dreams. ( Knife Sharpener, 15-16 )