On Giles Becoming Gwen

Each transition is unique and yet part of the human story of variations on a given theme. I am reminded of the words of John Koethe in the concluding poem to Sally's Hair, words about the performance of Richard Burton as Hamlet. Look for the reliance on seeing…

Whose whole reality is words? It's nice to speculate,
And yet it's just too facile, for the truth was much more
Gradual and difficult to see, if there to see at all.
We like to think they're up to us, our lives, but by the time we
Glimpse the possibility of changing it's already happened,
Governed by, in Larkin's phrase, what something hidden from us chose
And which, for all we know, might just as well have been the stars.
Koethe is meditating about the influences on his coming to a life of words and thought — how that Burton performance may have been a catalyst. He finds the most willed and contorted syntax to express that destiny is possible thereby reaffirming that destiny is not all, certainly not all in recollection. Close your eyes, you're in control.

And so for day 1647