Angelus Novus (found poem, after Walter Benjamin, 2007)

A Klee painting named

‘Angelus Novus’

shows an angel

looking

as though he is

about to move

away

from something

he is fixedly contemplating.

His eyes are

staring,

his mouth is

open,

his wings

are spread.

This is how

one

pictures

the angel of history.

His face is

turned

toward the past.

Where we perceive

a chain of events,

he sees

one

single

catastrophe

which keeps piling

wreckage

and hurls it

in front of his feet.

The angel would like

to stay, awaken

the dead,

and make

whole

what has been smashed.

But

 a Storm

                                          is blowing in

                                                                from Paradise;

it has got caught

                                                                           in his wings

                                                              with such a violence

                               that the angel can

                                                no longer

                                                                close them.

The storm

                                                     irresistibly

propels him into the future

                                                    to which his back

                                                is turned,

while the pile of debris

                                                          before him

                                           grows

       skyward.

                                                               This storm is

                          what we call

      Progress.

From : Benjamin, Walter, “Theses on the Philosophy of History, IX” , Illuminations (1969)

 

Paul Klee, Angelus Novus
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s