In my first note on melancholy I quoted the following question raised by Jacky Bowring, she asked: How can things that are sorrowful be beautiful?
Louise Glück’s First Snow is not a theoretical answer, but a wonderful demonstration of something deeply sorrowful becoming almost unbearably beautiful –
by Louise Glück
Like a child, the earth’s going to sleep,
or so the story goes.
But I’m not tired, it says.
And the mother says, You may not be tired but I’m tired-
You can see it in her face, everyone can.
So the snow has to fall, sleep has to come.
Because the mother’s sick to death of her life
and needs silence.
Anselm Kiefer, “Snow Melt in the Odenwald,” 2010, gouache on photographic paper.
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so basic. so beautiful.