Aesthetic Realism Online Library Poetry by Eli Siegel


This Summer Morning Mariana Has

Mariana, with the morning so, 
Walking one morning up a road near woods, 
With the sun young that morning, 
And the dew not long gone from grass and roses; 
     violets still were wet; the moon had not so long 
     gone; Mariana had not long awakened; 
Mariana, with the sun growing hotter, going west, 
     coming nearer to Mariana, 
Mariana, going up a road near woods, thinking of 
     Thursdays and gone nights and coming nights, 
Mariana, sweetly crushing twigs on a road, twigs 
     there somehow. 
Mariana, grasping at some leaves of a nearby tree. 
Mariana, thinking of Thursdays. 
Mariana, scaring a butterfly; Mariana, scaring 
     little living things in warm flowers. 
Mariana, living through a morning near woods. 
Mariana's dress touching at times tall grass green 
     in fields. 
Mariana, seen by a bird. 
Mariana, touched by a slow wind. 
Mariana, coming nearer to woods. 
Mariana, moving little stones in the road; Mariana, 
     covering with her slippers, Mariana covering little 
     stones in the road. 
Mariana, seeing a rose. 
Mariana, in woods. 
The woods have Mariana. 
Mariana has woods. 
A leaf falls on Mariana's hair; the leaf falls down from 
     Mariana's hair, down her face, down her neck; she 
     walks; the leaf falls down over her dress, touching 
     her dress, and falls down in grass; Mariana walks on 
     in woods. 
All in Mariana's morning. 
This morning Mariana has. 
This morning, on road and in woods, in summer, under 
     summer, morning sun, Mariana, Mariana has. 

From Hot Afternoons Have Been in Montana: Poems (Definition Press)
© 1957 by Eli Siegel

The author writes: 

There is a kind of slowness that comes from seeing everything in detail. A way to slow up perception is to be more aware of every little happening. This can be quite beautiful. No one knows what a hand is until the motion of a hand is seen in slow motion: everything in the hand seen, all the muscles - and then we see the mighty event! We come to see that the moving of a hand is like a derrick, like a mighty force rising in the air. The majesty of motion makes motion slower.

     The poem "This Summer Morning Mariana Has" is about every detail looked on as an event in itself. The only thing it really is about is a girl walking. But the motion of her feet is seen as a happening, an historical happening. And because everything is seen for itself, the effect is slow—just as if one were looking at a painting, or studying a chord in music. The fact that the detail is seen for itself, can give the whole composition a depth and a slowness it wouldn't have otherwise. 

—Eli Siegel 
Poetry and Slowness 
in The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known, no. 1415 

Eli Siegel on Beauty | Biography | Multicultural Aesthetics | Countering the Lies | US Congressional Record
Aesthetic Realism Online Library Seal
Aesthetic Realism Foundation | Online Library | Poetry | Books | Reviews | Articles | Definition Press Books