From Peter Cole’s new collection of poems, The Invention of Influence, comes this little wonder, “Of Time and Intensity”:
Is Time a dispersion of intensity?
For epiphanists, maybe, but not for me—
for whom Time is a transposition
of immensity into a lower key.
The republican tradition of Machiavelli—not to mention political and cultural theories of decadence—is always worried about this problem of temporal distance from a moment of origin. Conservatism is too. Sometimes. In ten words, Cole explains why these concerns may be unfounded.
Peter’s not a political poet, but I always find unanticipated resources for my own thinking in his poems. I really recommend that you buy this latest collection of his.