…, to be the pouring of the milk.

Jan Vermeer, "Dienstmagd mit Milchkrug" (ca. 1658-60)
Jan Vermeer, „Dienstmagd mit Milchkrug“ (ca. 1658-60)

You know that milkmaid in Vermeer? Entirely absorbed / In the act of pouring a small stream of milk – / Shocking in the Mauritshuis Museum in The Hague / To have seen how white it is, and alive, as seeing people / Reading their poetry or singing in a chorus, you think / You see the soul is an animal going about its business, / A squirrel, its coat sheening toward fall, stretching / Its body down a slim branch to gather one ripe haw / From a hawthorne, testing the branch with its weight, / Stilling as it sinks, then gingerly reaching out a paw. / There is nothing less ambivalent than animal attention / And so you honor it, admire it even, that her attention, / Turned away from you, is so alive, and you are melancholy / Nevertheless. It is best, of course, to be the one engaged / And being thought of, to be the pouring of the milk…

Robert Hass, „Art and Life“

Quelle: Fixpoetry, „Das Urvertrauen der Farbe“

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