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This article is taken from PN Review 217, Volume 40 Number 5, May - June 2014.

Two Poems Nyla Matuk
Meditation after Seeing Hannah Arendt

I go see Barbara Sukowa as Hannah Arendt in Margarethe von Trotta’s
Hannah Arendt. The audience is made to understand how, following orders,
Eichmann was simply himself; how Arendt substantiated banality of evil.

I leave the theatre. I go straight home and study Wordsworth’s
“Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood.”
I consider all the nature in it, and I try to understand the power of the inevitable.

They say power lies in arbitrariness. At any time, the consequences
of disobedience may become apparent. They say freedom is being free
of domination. We are free if the State does not interfere, arbitrarily or otherwise.

On Monday, in my office building, I look out
the seventh-floor window down on a copse of trees
swaying in the May wind. Later, I see trees in front of houses

on the street, their green jewels dancing. Those leaves
in the sunshine remind me of a kind of ending, but not death. Only
the idea of it, arbitrarily and ordinarily rushing through us, without interference.

Aquatic Hermeneutics

Sea monsters inside sea shells.
See, inside each shell, a sea monster.
Hear the peals of sea monsters like bells.

Boys riding their friendly dolphins.
Dolphins, with their waving fins.
Wave to the boys, dolphins, wave to the bluefins.

She got violet candy from her suitors. ...

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