convinced that every innovation in the city influences the sky’s pattern

This is a scattered selection of some favorite passages in Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino: [Eusapia:] They say that every time they go below they find something changed in the lower Eusapia; the dead make innovations in their city; not many, but surely the fruit of sober reflection, not passing whims. From one year toContinue reading “convinced that every innovation in the city influences the sky’s pattern”

perhaps this garden exists

From Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino (Marco Polo speaking to Kublai Khan): Perhaps this garden exists only in the shadow of our lowered eyelids, and we have never stopped: you, from raising dust on the fields of battle; and I, from bargaining for sacks of pepper in distant bazaars. But each time we halfclose ourContinue reading “perhaps this garden exists”

a first city that remains implicit

From Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino: “To distinguish the other cities’ qualities, I must speak of a first city that remains implicit. For me it is Venice.” “…Memory’s images, once they are fixed in words, are erased,” Polo said. “Perhaps I am afraid of losing Venice all at once, if I speak of it. OrContinue reading “a first city that remains implicit”

turn in to greet his City’s boundless sweep

From Compass of Affection by Scott Cairns (155). Hidden City …that you might approach the Jerusalem of the heart…                                                      —Isaac the Least And now I think Jerusalem abides untouched, the temple yet intact, its every cornerstone in place, its vault replete with vivid scent, its ark alight with vigil lamps whose oil is never spent.Continue reading “turn in to greet his City’s boundless sweep”

under the direction of the Great Architect

From Divine Craftsmanship by Jean Hani (compare to this poem): To say that God is the only architect can be understood in a yet more precise fashion in the case of the construction of the temple. Here, God is more directly the architect of His own abode. …The earthly temple is realized according to a heavenlyContinue reading “under the direction of the Great Architect”

we saw the City

City Under Construction As you might suppose, the work was endless. Even when at last the City stood gleaming like flame in the troubled radiance of that distended sun, we could not help but be drawn to where our next project should begin: The loosening bolt, flaking surfaces, another unnerving vibration in the yawning superstructure.Continue reading “we saw the City”