Poetic Memory III

By Stu Whitley

This is the third post in a four-part series. 

What may be demonstrated as a biological truth is intuitively understood as we grow older. We become less egocentric, more aware that the world has many centres of the universe besides our own, and that in some mysterious way, these centres are all linked. In the mature adult, we recognize as poets have before us, that we are round people on a round earth, cognizant of being interwoven in a circular web of connection with all human beings, which is among other things to understand interdependency, forgiveness and the nature of healing. Hugo wrote: “We are never done with conscience. Choose your course by it…it is bottomless, being God.” And what is conscience if not memory? Memory, that is, linked to consequences. No one can divine the future with any exactitude. Yet we are capable of discerning the truths that help guide us to it; I believe that those truths are at least in part found in our collective memory.

the other hand, I am dismayed by the thought that the lessons I think
I’ve already learned, and learned well, must incessantly be
reconsidered and learned yet again, as if unremembered. All my life so
far, particularly as one who is trained and experienced in the
machinery of the law, I have understood the need to hew to certainty
and precision. It has been expected of me, if for no other

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