"The human being is this night, this empty nothing, that contains everything in its simplicity... One catches sight of this night when one looks human beings in the eye."
--Hegel, Jena Realphilosophie lectures, 1805-1806
"If you catch him,
hold up a flashlight to his eye. It's all dark pupil,
an entire night itself, whose haired horizon tightens
as he stares back, and closes up the eye."
--Elizabeth Bishop, "The Man-Moth," 1935
I like this connection between two topics on which I'm currently writing, or at least about which I'm thinking. The Hegel will be a proper, you know, article. The Bishop, hopefully, a soon-to-come post on this blog.
By the way, here are more passages said to be reminiscent of the Hegel above. I think the Bishop is closer than any of them. And I seriously doubt Bishop ever read Hegel.
One more "by the way." Bishop claimed that the title of "The Man-Moth" was inspired by a New York Times misprint for "mammoth." (Well, in a note to the poem she only says "newspaper misprint," but in a letter she mentions specifically the Times.) Sad to say, neither a NYT search nor a Lexis-Nexis one uncovered the misprint in question.