I envy the confidence of ignorance,
The stillness of growing grass,
The rustle of dead leaves.
The majesty of trees succumbing
To the changing seasons with
No melancholia.

I envy me too, if I look at myself as I look at things
I cannot conceive. So full of life and energy,
It seems. Some strange thirst for life and death.
For I can’t resist the changing cycles
Either. But I am great only as an object.
My subjectivity haunts me,
Disturbs every sublimity. I wish I could
Perceive without perceiving my perception...
Maybe that’s what trees do?


photo from the author

Poet’s Note

“I envy the confidence of ignorance” was written in Maine, after an invitational lecture titled “Problems of Desire: Self-consciousness and Self-Narration in Late Tolstoy” I gave at Bowdoin College in 2019. The beautiful autumn nature of New England was very much an inspiration along with Hegel, Tolstoy, Heidegger and concerns of self-awareness.