Posts Tagged ‘negative capability’



Beauty overcomes every other consideration, or rather obliterates all consideration.

—John Keats, letter to George and Thomas Keats on December 21, 1817



For an hour we gathered rocks

and laid them in patterns in the sand

and named our collection

“The Museum of Beautiful and Useless Rocks.”

What did we know of the rocks?

Only the pleasure of choosing them,

of finding just the right rhythm

of reds and blues and grays –

we chose them by shape, by

the way they fell apart, by how smooth

or lumpy they were, we chose them

for no reason at all except that

there was joy in the finding

and joy in the rearranging of the bank.

There was no real end to the task,

it was only that the wind turned chill,

so we left the collection unfinished,

as beauty always is, and returned

to the house for lunch—none of us

feeling the hand that had chosen us,

that hand even then rearranging

us into new stanzas of shifting dust.


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