the fluttering space between

Natia Rekhviashvili


come to the open window

Put down the stationery,
come to the open window.
I'm holding a lamp up high
for you —
see me from this distance.

Wind walks over the dawning earth,
sweeping the sky clean.
Night is still picking up
its broken pieces along the street.
All flowers, all green twigs
will taste another morning frost,
though crimson dawn is not far away.

The sea smell is locked behind mountains,
they can't keep on robbing us of our youth.
And they won't delay us long.
Promise me — no tears.

Come to the window and meet me
if you feel lonely:
let's see each other's sad smile
and swap poems of struggle and joy.

Shu Ting




It began to snow at midnight. And certainly
the kitchen is the best place to sit, 
even the kitchen of the sleepless. 
It's warm there, you cook yourself something, drink wine 
and look out of the window at your friend eternity. 
Why care whether birth and death are merely points 
when life is not a straight line. 
Why torment yourself eyeing the calendar 
and wondering what is at stake. 
Why confess you don't have the money 
to buy Saskia shoes? 
And why brag 
that you suffer more than others. 

If there were no silence here 
the snow would have dreamed it up. 
You are alone. 
Spare the gestures. Nothing for show.

Vladimir Holan


the window

Antonio Lopez Garcia
oil on board, 48"x64", 1966



reflected windows

J. M. W. Turner, Reflections in a Single Polished Metal Globe and in a Pair of Polished Metal Globes, circa 1810 Courtesy of Tate, London 2012


Stanislas at the window

Édouard Boubat, from A Gentle Eye

France, 1973



ryokan's window (ii)

One thousand peaks merge with frozen clouds,
ten thousand paths have no human trace.
Day by day just facing the wall,
at times I hear snow drift over the window.

tr. Kazuaki Tanahashi

ryokan's window (i)

In the evening of a thousand peaks, I close my eyes.
Among humans, myriad thoughts are trivial.
Serenely I sit on the mat.
In solitude I face an open window.
The incense has burned out and a dark night is long.
Dew is thick; my robe is thin.
Emerging from samadhi, I walk in the garden.
The moon has risen over the highest peak.

tr. Kazuaki Tanahashi



life, in the room opposite

Nothing could be slow enough; nothing last too long. No pleasure could equal, she thought, straightening the chairs, pushing in one book on the shelf, this having done with the triumphs of youth, lost herself in the process of living, to find it, with a shock of delight, as the sun rose, as the day sank. Many a time had she gone, at Bourton when they were all talking, to look at the sky; or seen it between people's shoulders at dinner; seen it in London when she could not sleep. She walked to the window. 
It held, foolish as the idea was, something of her own in it, this country sky, this sky above Westminster. She parted the curtains; she looked. Oh, but how surprising!—in the room opposite the old lady stared straight at her! She was going to bed. And the sky. It will be a solemn sky, she had thought, it will be a dusky sky, turning away its cheek in beauty. But there it was—ashen pale, raced over quickly by tapering vast clouds. It was new to her. The wind must have risen. She was going to bed, in the room opposite. It was fascinating to watch her, moving about, that old lady, crossing the room, coming to the window. Could she see her? It was fascinating, with people still laughing and shouting in the drawing-room, to watch that old woman, quite quietly, going to bed. She pulled the blind now. The clock began striking. The young man had killed himself; but she did not pity him; with the clock striking the hour, one, two, three, she did not pity him, with all this going on. There! the old lady had put out her light! the whole house was dark now with this going on, she repeated, and the words came to her, Fear no more the heat of the sun. She must go back to them. But what an extraordinary night! She felt somehow very like him—the young man who had killed himself. She felt glad that he had done it; thrown it away. The clock was striking. The leaden circles dissolved in the air. He made her feel the beauty; made her feel the fun. But she must go back. She must assemble. She must find Sally and Peter. And she came in from the little room.

Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway



Le front aux vitres

With brow against the windowpane like those who keep sorrowful vigil
Sky whose night I’ve left behind
Plains so small in my open hands
In their double horizon inert indifferent
With brow against the windowpane like those who keep sorrowful vigil

I seek you beyond the waiting
I seek you beyond myself
And I no longer know, so deeply do I love you,
Which of the two of us is absent.

Paul Eluard


of infinite richness, this life

Beauty anyhow. Not the crude beauty of the eye. It was not beauty pure and simple—Bedford Place leading into Russell Square. It was straightness and emptiness of course; the symmetry of a corridor; but it was also windows lit up, a piano, a gramophone sounding; a sense of pleasure-making hidden, but now and again emerging when, through the uncurtained window, the window left open, one saw parties sitting over tables, young people slowly circling, conversations between men and women, maids idly looking out (a strange comment theirs, when work was done), stockings drying on top ledges, a parrot, a few plants. Absorbing, mysterious, of infinite richness, this life.

V. Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway



kitchen window, winter morning

I got more conscious of the kitchen window backyards’ seasons’ daily view, here morning snow-dropped window sill January 23, 1987, white roofed toolshed, bare branched trees of Heaven, fences & fire escapes visible snow-line, Times. -

Allen Ginsberg


even the drifting of the curtains

With my whole body I taste these peaches,
I touch them and smell them.  Who speaks?

I absorb them as the Angevine
Absorbs Anjou.  I see them as a lover sees,

As a young lover sees the first buds of spring
And as the black Spaniard plays his guitar.

Who speaks?  But it must be that I,
That animal, that Russian, that exile, for whom

The bells of the chapel pullulate sounds at
Heart.  The peaches are large and round,

Ah! and red; and they have peach fuzz, ah!
They are full of juice and the skin is soft.

They are full of the colors of my village
And of fair weather, summer, dew, peace.

The room is quiet where they are.
The windows are open.  The sunlight fills

The curtains.  Even the drifting of the curtains,
Slight as it is, disturbs me.  I did not know

That such ferocities could tear
One self from another, as these peaches do.

A Dish of Peaches in Russia
Wallace Stevens (1879 - 1955) 



the climax--when she opens the window & the moth comes in

Now about this book, The Moths. How am I to begin it? And what is it to be? I feel no great impulse; no fever; only a great pressure of difficulty. Why write it then? Why write at all? Every morning I write a little sketch to amuse myself. I am not trying to tell a story. Yet perhaps it might be done in that way. A mind thinking. They might be islands of light---islands in the stream that I am trying to convey: life itself going on. The current of the moths flying strongly this way. A lamp & a flower pot in the centre. The flower can always be changing. But there must be more unity between each scene than I can find at present. Autobiography it might be called. How am I to make one lap, or act, between the coming of the moths, more intense than another; if there are only scenes? One must get the sense that this is the beginning; this the middle; that the climax--when she opens the window & the moth comes in. I shall have the two different currents--the moths flying along; the flower upright in the centre; a perpetual crumbling & renewing of the plant. In its leaves she might see things happen. But who is she? I am very anxious that she should have no name. I don't want a Lavinia or a Penelope: I want 'She'. But that becomes arty, Liberty, greenery yallery somehow: symbolic in loose robes. Of course I can make her think backwards & forwards; I can tell stories. But that's not it. Also I shall do away with exact place & time. Anything may be out of the window--a ship--a desert--London.

Virginia Woolf about the novel The Waves, initially called The Moths (diary entry, 9 April 1930)
(my italics)