back toJacket2

Nicholas Messenger

The Pleasures of Reading

You have to let me share this

with you. Bachelard, explaining his phenomenology

of houses, and specifically, a light in a distant

window that looks out at you.

He’s quoting Baudelaire, whose long apology

for auto-immolation brings him to de Quincey

reading Kant: “Is it not true

that a cottage concentrates the poetry

of winter?” He describes a valley hide-away, and since

he’s dreaming about opium, the heavy draperies

that shut the seasons out. It’s interesting

how, in Bachelard’s abstractions, images

look out at you this way, from shapeless

murkiness, like cattle looming out of mist

to breathe on you. That image is Nick Messenger’s.

He wanted you to be the vehicle of this.

Nicholas Messenger has been a poet all his life, and a painter on and off. He won the Glover Poetry award in New Zealand in the 1970s, and has had some one-man shows of his paintings. He has worked as a teacher, of science, art, and languages in High Schools in New Zealand, and for the last nine years, as a teacher of English in Japan.

April 2006  |  Jacket 29  Contents  |  Homepage  |  Catalog  |  Search  |
about Jacket | style guide | bookstores | literary links | 400+ book reviews |