“Sun as Idea” by James A. Schmitz


          "It Must Be Abstract"

     "You must become an ignorant man again
     And see the sun again with an ignorant eye
     And see it clearly in the idea of it."

               ***
          "How clean the sun when seen in its idea."

               Wallace Stevens

     --from Wallace Stevens, Collected Poems and Prose




Let us speak of sun as idea,
Not as a creation of an imperfect mind,
Even less an old notion about gods,
Or newer definitions concerning helium and hydrogen and
Matters purely scientific

What is Sun but yellow, the essence of which
Van Gogh gathered as if the
Stars themselves were waiting to reach earth where
Only the artist was fully capable of grasping their
Significance, though the auditory distortions that
Tortured his ears prevented him from achieving the
Clear notion he desperately sought, his wretched state
Similar to all of mankind's dilemma Plato and Paul
Expressed in separate axioms 400 years apart
When first the Athenian philosopher and then the
Judean apostle theorized that
Man is a prisoner shackled by chains,
Trapped by human limitations, a clouded vision and
Imperfect understanding, along with a certain mortality
That brings every search, however zealous, to its
Tragic halt, rendering our words, despite their
Strength, powerless to tell us the real story or
Explain the penultimate notion of idea, or elucidate
The sun that continues to run, like the horse, past
The world as it indifferently glances inside a mind no
More capable of stopping its trajectory than were
Those mythic gods in whom we once placed so much trust
And belief