16 02 21

In my city one wished me death,
The stars last more than one night –
The hidden so disposes imagination,
And so the body to take on a nature
Opposed it seems to itself, of which no idea
Can be given the mind, but that a man
Out of need of his nature should try not to exist
Or appear changed
Is as impossible
As for any thing to be made out of nothing,
This everyone with a little reflection
May see :
Anyone can kill himself, compelled by some other
Who twists his right hand
Which holds perhaps a sword
So it is led against his own heart,
Or like Seneca by the command of a tyrant,
Be forced to open his veins,
To avoid more evil by taking on less –
Many things sleepwalkers do
They would not dare if awake –
All of which shows
That the body can do many things
By the laws of its nature
At which the mind is amazed ;
No one knows how
The mind moves the body
(Cerebral charges ? were discovered
Some time ago thru poetry
Not surprised in the least
By new science)
Or by what means,
Nor how many degrees of motion
It can give the body,
Nor with what speed it can move it.
Whence if men say this or that action
Arises from the mind
That has power over the body
They confess specious words
That do not regard it with wonder ;
When the body sleeps
The mind’s unconscious (Spinoza very early on that)

Has not the power
It has when awake.
The mind is not always apt
For thinking its subject,
Only as the body is apt
For the image of this or that
To excite it
Does the mind see the object.

I looked

When we dream that we speak
We think we speak
From free decision of the mind ;
Yet we do not speak, or if we do,
This decision thought to be free
Is imagination – or memory ;
Is nothing but the accord
An idea involves.
A suspension of judgment
Apprehends, is not free.
In dreams also we dream that we dream,
I grant no one is deceived
In so far as he perceives.
The imaginations of the mind
in themselves
Involve no error,
But I deny that a man
affirms nothing
In so far as he perceives –


Louis Zukofsky« A12 »« A » University of California Press1978p. 187–189