D O U G L A S L U M A N | Monsoon 2014
The two poems below are sourced/collaged from letters, texts, and interviews about architect Mies van der Rohe.
Architectural History with Sketchbook & Pencil
The essence of a sentence in such a way
that you would go limp – find yourself saying
What's left to say? Or, there is nothing.
If formulations were so final, everyone could solve
it – the formula before our eyes. Say fine, the whole problem –
time; the characteristics of the heart. To the end,
a great old tree which, year after year causes distress
a tree under which you could fall asleep so easily.
Please remember the trees. Now,
the way is smoothed to the magical world of space. Whoever spoke,
spoke poetry, cold, boxy, bare-assed
sober, emotionless as safety glass. Look around
see what you have there. Old trees. You don't have
to do much, quietly speak of romance:
a house & tree; incredible pregnancy between
heaven & earth. The feeling of endless flowing happening.
We know that in their slender, minimal bodies was the birth of the freestanding.
Into the silence, a voice reflected.
Source: Buch, Werner, "Werner Buch : a student of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe reports on his teaching and its effects, a conversation with Ines Dresel." Chicago Architects Oral History Project, trans Rolf Achilles. Excerpts. http://digital-libraries.saic.edu/cdm/ref/collection/caohp/id/1270. © 2005 The Art Institute of Chicago, used with permission
Douglas Luman is the Book Reviews Editor at the Found Poetry Review and an intern with the Chicago School of Poetics. His work has appeared or is coming soon in journals such as ucity review, MAP Literary, and Boktor Magazine.