Tratado sobre educação

NOTA: Escrito por um inventor com a quarta classe, Edward Leedslkalnin, que inspirou um tema de Billy Idol, «Sweet 16».

«Reader, if for any reason you do not like the things I say in this little book, I left just as much space as I used, so you can write your own opinion opposite it and see if you can do better.
The Author»

«(…) Now, I am going to tell you what I mean when I say “Ed’s Sweet Sixteen”. I don’t mean a sixteen year old girl, I mean a brand new one. If it had meant a sixteen year old girl, it would have meant at the same time, that I made money for the sweet sixteen while she was making love with a fresh boy.

I will furnish all the love making to my girl. She will never have to seek any from anybody else, for I believe that there is not a boy or man in this world good enough to be around my girl and I believe that the other men also ought to have enough self-respect so that they would think that I am not good enough to be around theirs.

Anything that we do leaves its effect, but it leaves more effect upon a girl than it does upon a boy or a man, because the girl’s body, mind and all her constitution is more tender and so it leaves more impressions – and why should one want to be around anybody’s else impressions?

A girl is to a fellow the best thing in this world, but to have the best one second hand, it is humiliating.

All girls below sixteen should be brand new. If a girl below sixteen cannot be called brand new any more, it is not the girl’s fault; the mamma is to blame! It is the mamma’s duty to supervise the girl to keep those fresh boys away. In case the girl’s mamma thinks that there is a boy somewhere who needs experience, then she, herself, could pose as an experimental station for that fresh boy to practice on and so save the girl. Nothing can hurt her any more. She has already gone through all the experience that can be gone through and so in her case, it would be all right.

But all the blame does not rest on the mamma alone. The schools and the churches are cheapening the girls! They are arranging picnics – are coupling up the girls with the fresh boys – and then they send them out to the woods, parks, beaches and other places so that they can practice in first degree love making.

Now, I will tell you what the first degree love making is. The first degree love making is when the fresh boy begins to soil the girl by patting, rubbing and squeezing her. They start it in that way but soon it begins to get dull and there is no kick in it, so they have to start in on the second degree and keep on and then by and by, when the right man comes along and when he touches the girl, then he touches her like dead flesh. There is no more response in it because all the response has been worked out with those fresh boys. Why should it be that way?

Everything we do should be for some good purpose but as everybody knows there is nothing good that can come to a girl from a fresh boy. When a girl is sixteen or seventeen years old, she is as good as she ever will be, but when a boy is sixteen years old, he is then fresher than in all his stages of development. He is then not big enough to work but he is too big to be kept in a nursery and then to allow such a fresh thing to soil a girl – it could not work on my girl. Now I will tell you about soiling. Anything that is done, if it is with the right party it is all right, but when it is with the wrong party, it is soiling, and concerning those fresh boys with the girls, it is wrong every time. (…)

In such a case she could not be one hundred per cent sweet. As soon as a girl acquires experience the sweetness begins to leave her right away. The first experience in everything is the most impressive. It should be reserved for the permanent partner – the less of the new experience is left, the cheaper the affair will be.

That is the reason why I want a girl the way Mother nature puts her out. This means before anybody has had any chance to be around her and before she begins to misrepresent herself. I want to pick out the girl while she is guided by the instinct alone.

When I started out in doing things that would make it possible for me to get a girl, I set a rule in my behavior to follow: The sweet sixteen had to be a beginner and a likeable girl and with a mild disposition; I had to be deserving of her. Everybody’s sweet sixteen should be so high in one’s estimation that no temptation could induce one to act behind her back. I always have wanted a girl but I never had one. The reason why is that I knew it would produce several conditions and leave their effects, but I did not want any effects from past experience left on me and my sweet sixteen. (…) That is why I was so successful in resisting the natural urge for love making.

Now about sweet and how sweet, a girl can be one hundred per cent sweet to one only and no more. To illustrate, suppose we are two men and a girl together somewhere and some one else would ask if she is sweet and we both would say she is sweet. But let her act very friendly with the other fellow and then if someone should ask if she is sweet, I would say that she is not. Now you see her friendly action with the other fellow produced a change in me and it would produce a change in any other normal man.
We always strive for perfection. We are only one-half of a perfect whole, man is the bigger and stronger half and the woman is the other. To be perfect there must be two, but where there is two there is no room for more, so the third party is left to go somewhere else with sour feelings.

A normal male is always ready to strive for perfection, the female is not. It is not only with human beings, it is the same with every living thing. If you watch a flock of chickens, where there is a rooster, and if you add another rooster, you will see them fight to death. One will have to go or be killed and this is the same thing with the other living things.

Lower forms of life are guided by instincts alone so the present only comes into consideration. As soon as the other male is chased away, the female is as good as she ever was, but with us it is different. We are guided more by reason and thought than by instinct and so the present, past and future come into consideration. Now, if it is not good today, it was not good yesterday and it won’t be good tomorrow. That is why an experienced girl cannot be one hundred per cent sweet.

According to my observation the girls are wrong in looking for their permanent partners. They are too quick. By being too quick, they only get those fellows with quick emotions. All quick emotions are irresponsible and short lasting. (…)

Now, girls, when any fellow jumps quickly at you, you had better keep away from him. He has no consideration that the action would do any good to you. You are the weakest side, so you should have the better deal and if you don’t get the better deal, there is a little brute in him and it may come very hard to train it out of him. The fellow who makes an advance toward you, and if he won’t state what the eventual purpose will be, he is not a gentleman. All men should know that the girl’s primary purpose is to find a permanent partner while they are young. Those fellows who fail to see this are not desirable to have around.

Girls below sixteen should not be allowed to associate with the boys, they are practicing in love making, such a thing should be discouraged. Love making should be reserved for their permanent partners. With every love making affair, their hearts get bruised and by the time they grow up, their hearts are so badly bruised that they are no more good.

Boys and girls start out as friends and finish as disappointed lovers, now let me tell you. Male and female are never friends, a friend will not want anything from a friend, but a boy or a girl, one or the other, sooner or later, will ask for a little kiss, so they are not friends, they are lovers.

Let’s see what happens when they are selecting their partners while they are young. They select their partners on account of good looks. The liking for the good looks remain but the good looks change and they change so much in ten years that you would not recognize them if you had not seen them now and then – and the boy gets the best deal almost every time. By that time they are grown up. The girls will be faded so much that the fellow would not want her any more so then, any girl who associates with a fellow only five years older is headed for a bad disappointment. This all could be avoided with the right kind of an education.

Now, a few words about education. You know we receive an education in the schools from books. All those books that people became educated from twenty-five years ago, are wrong now, and those that are good now, will be wrong again twenty-five years from now. So if they are wrong then, they are also wrong now, and the one who is educated from the wrong books is not educated, he is misled. All books that are written are wrong, the one who is not educated cannot write a book and the one who is educated, is not really educated but he is misled and the one who is misled cannot write a book which is correct.

The misleading began when our far distant ancestors began to teach their descendants. You know they knew nothing but they passed their knowledge of nothing to the coming generations and it went so innocently that nobody noticed it. That is why we are not educated.Now I will tell you what education is according to my reasoning. An educated person is one whose senses are refined. We are born as brutes, we remain and die as the same if we do not become polished. Some are too coarse to take it. The main base of education is one’s “self-respect”. Any one lacking self-respect cannot be educated. The main bases of self-respect is the willingness to learn, to do only the things that are good and right, to believe only in the things that can be proved, to possess appreciation and self control.

Now, if you lack willingness to learn, you will remain as a brute and if you do things that are not good and right, you will be a low person, and if you believe in things that cannot be proved, any feeble minded person can lead you, and if you lack appreciation, it takes away the incentive for good doing and if you lack self control you will never know the limit. So all those lacking these characteristics in their makeup are not educated.

The foundation of our physical and mental behaviour is laid while we are in infancy, so the responsibility of our shortcomings rest upon our mothers and fathers, but mainly upon our mothers.

Today, I myself would be better than I am if my mother and father had known how to raise me and the same is true for almost everybody else.

At the first contraction in any part of your body, you will never notice any mark, but keep it up and some day you will see a crease, and it will be permanent. We all want to look and act the best that we know how, but we cannot learn from ourselves so we have to learn from others.

In my thirty years of studying conditions and their effects I have come to the conclusion that I can tell pointers to the people that would be a good help to them. That is why I wrote this little book.

To accomplish good results, the mothers will have to keep good watch on their darlings until they acquire the natural ambition to shine, and the girls should be more carefully watched than the boys, because the girl’s looks are her best asset and should be cultivated.

Don’t raise the girls too big by over feeding them and too curved by neglect.

People who want to shine will always have to restrain themselves, because if they don’t, their actions won’t be graceful. Even when one’s looks are good, if he abandons restraint, the performance won’t be good. It is more likely that the person himself won’t notice but others will. (…)

The first thing the mothers should do is to watch the baby’s mouth so it is not hanging open. The mouth, by hanging open, stretches the upper lip and when kept open while growing, then when fully grown, the lips will not fit together any more.

Mothers should keep close watch on their children’s behaviour. As soon as they notice some action and contraction that is not graceful, they should correct it immediately, because their actions leave their effects. To small children, it doesn’t matter how ugly they look, but when they are grown up, the good looks will be the best thing, and one with a disfigured face cannot be satisfied with oneself. The foundation for one’s best looks will have to be laid while one is small. (…)

Children should not be encouraged to smile too much, smiling in due time will produce creases in the sides of their mouths. It would be better to save the smiles till they are grown up. Children while they are growing should be watched, closely. They are stretching their mouths with their fingers and are jamming too big objects in their mouths and making ugly faces. All these actions should be forbidden for their future’s sake.

Eyes should be trained to look in the middle between both lids, never through the forehead. If this is done, it will produce creases in the forehead. When the lids of one eye are more narrow than the other it should be trained out and equalized. (…)

Political
Before I say anything about the government, let’s establish a base for reasoning. All our ideas should produce good and lasting results and then anything that is good now would have been good in the past and it will be good in the future and it will be good under any circumstances, so any idea that does not cover all this broad base is no good.

To be right, one’s thought will have to be based on natural facts, for really, Mother Nature only can what is right and what is wrong and the way that things should be.
My definition of right is that right is anything in nature that exists without artificial modification and all the others are wrong.

Now suppose you would say it is wrong. In that case, I would say you are wrong yourself because you came into this world through natural circumstances that you had nothing to do with and so long as such a thing exists as yourself, I am right and you are wrong. Only those are right whose thoughts are based on natural facts and inclinations.

It is natural tendency for all living things to take it easy. You watch any living thing you want to, and you will see that as soon as they fill up, they will lie down and take it easy.
The physical comfort, the ease, that is the only thing in this world that satisfies. It cannot be overdone and it is the real base of all our actions. We all cannot take things easy because there is too much competition from other people only those who possess good management will succeed by exploiting domestic animals, machinery, other people and natural resources.
Everything will have to be produced that is consumed and to those who have to produce the things themselves, they are consuming the easy days are not coming to them.

It has been told to you that the government is for the purpose of protecting “life” and property, but it really is to protect “property” and life. Nobody wants your life but everybody wants your property.

In International dealings, when an army conquers the land, they don’t want the people, they want the physical property and so do the thieves and the bandits. They want your money and property and if you will submit peacefully, they won’t harm you.
Now you see, nobody wants you, they want your property so really the property is the one that needs the protection and not you. You are the protector yourself.

Government to be lasting will have to be just. This means it will have to protect all the property alike and all the property will have to pay equal taxes, which means big property, big taxes, and small property, small taxes. Government cannot exist without taxes so only those who pay taxes should vote and vote according to the taxes they pay.

It is not sound to allow the weaklings to vote. Any one who is too weak to make his own living is not strong enough to vote, because their weak influence weakens the state and a degenerated state cannot exist very long, but every state should be sound and lasting.

By voting, the voters dictate the state’s destiny for times to come and then to allow such a weak influence to guide the state, it is not wise and so you see one should vote according to how he is carrying the State’s burden.

Another unwise thing about equal voting is that it gives the loafers and weaklings the power to take the property away from producers and stronger people, and then another unjust thing about equal voting is that it gives the loafers and weaklings the power to demand an easy life from the producers and leaders. Self respecting producers will not stand such an injustice for long. It is not the producers’ fault when one is too weak to make his own living. The producer’s life is just as sweet as the weaklings and loafers life is to them.

All people are independent so you see everybody will have to take care of themselves and if they cannot, they should perish and the sooner they perish the better it will be.

To be lasting, the government should be built in the same way as the Supreme power of the land “the army.” Governments have been rising and falling but the army always remains. You know there is no equality in army and so there can be no equality in the state if you are not equal producer you cannot be an equal consumer.

Fifty per cent of the people don’t want to lead, they want to follow. They want somebody else to furnish the money for their living expenses and as long as such a condition exists, they are not equal with their leaders. That is the reason why everybody should be put in the right place according to their physical and mental ability.

There is only one way to share the National income. It is by sharing the production and if you are not producing equally you cannot share equally. Nobody is producing anything for the others. They are producing only for themselves.

People are individuals. For instance, if you want an excitement you have to test the thrill yourself, or if you have a pain you will have to bear it yourself, or if you want to eat you will have to eat for yourself. Nobody can eat for you and so it is that if you want the things to eat you will have to produce them yourself and if you are too weak, too lazy, lack machinery and good management to produce them, you should perish and that is all there is to it.

How to become Master of (All) Arts – II

«A Day in the Life of a Musician»

– ERIK SATIE

 

«An artist must regulate his life.

Here is a timetable of my daily acts. I rise at 7.18; am inspired from 10.23 to 11.47. I lunch at 12.11 and leave the table at 12.14. A healthy ride on horseback round my domain follows from 1.19 pm to 2.53 pm. Another bout of inspiration from 3.12 to 4.7 pm. From 5 to 6.47 pm various occupations (fencing, reflection, immobility, visits, contemplation, dexterity, natation, etc.)

Dinner is served at 7.16 and finished at 7.20 pm. From 8.9 to 9.59 pm symphonic readings (out loud). I go to bed regularly at 10.37 pm. Once a week (on Tuesdays) I awake with a start at 3.14 am.

My only nourishment consists of food that is white: eggs, sugar, shredded bones, the fat of dead animals, veal, salt, coconuts, chicken cooked in white water, mouldy fruit, rice, turnips, sausages in camphor, pastry, cheese (white varieties), cotton salad, and certain kinds of fish (without their skin). I boil my wine and drink it cold mixed with the juice of the Fuschia. I have a good appetite but never talk when eating for fear of strangling myself.

I breathe carefully (a little at a time) and dance very rarely. When walking I hold my ribs and look steadily behind me.

My expression is very serious; when I laugh it is unintentional, and I always apologise very politely.

I sleep with only one eye closed, very profoundly. My bed is round with a hole in it for my head to go through. Every hour a servant takes my temperature and gives me another».

Quando o Ocidente leva o coração aberto

Ressalva prévia:

São preguiçosos e descartáveis julgamentos como o “nazismo” de Heidegger, o “estalinismo” de Sartre, o “anarco”-desejante de Deleuze, a “revolução iraniana” em Foucault e o fundamentalismo generalizado a todo o Islão.

«A piedade e o percurso do amor
são dois caminhos distintos.
Amor é fogo que arde
Tanto a crença como a descrença.
Aqueles que praticam o Amor
Não têm seita nem casta».

– ABU-SAEED ABIL-KHEIR (967-1049), NOBODY, SON OF NOBODY.

«Outrora, costumava criticar o meu camarada, se a minha religião não era a que ele seguia. Mas o meu coração transformou-se a ponto de anuir a todas as formas: campos para os amantes despreocupados e conventos para os monges. Um templo de ídolos e o templo idolatrado em Taa’if, as tábuas da Tora e o mushaf do Alcorão. Sigo a religião do amor até onde quer que me leve, assim, toda e qualquer religião serve à minha fé».

– IBN AL-ARABÍ, DHAKHAAIRUL-A’LAAQ, P. 93.

«Ó Maravilha! Um jardim entre chamas.
O meu coração capaz de todas as formas:
é pasto para gazelas e claustro para monges cristãos,
um templo de ídolos e a Caaba do peregrino,
as tábuas da Tora e o livro do Alcorão.
Sigo a religião do Amor;
qualquer que seja o sentido que as caravanas tomem,
esse será o meu credo e a minha fé».

– IBN AL-ARABÍ (1165-1240)

«A pessoa de completo entendimento é aquela que acolhe todo o objecto de adoração como sendo uma manifestação da verdade contida algures, pela qual ele é adorado. Por conseguinte, cognominam-no de deus, contiguamente ao seu nome particular, quer seja uma pedra, uma árvore, um animal, uma pessoa, uma estrela ou um anjo».

– IBN AL-ARABÍ, FUSUS AL-HIKAM.

«A maravilhosa civilização árabe de Espanha, mais próxima em suma dos nossos sentidos do que Roma e Grécia, essa civilização foi espezinhada (não digo por que pés); porquê? Porque devia a sua origem a instintos nobres, a instintos de homem, porque afirmava a vida e, além disso, com as magnificências raras e refinadas da vida mourisca… As Cruzadas lutaram mais tarde contra algo que teriam feito melhor em adorar no pó, uma civilização que faria parecer até o nosso século XIX muito pobre e muito “atrasado”.»

– FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE, O ANTICRISTO, P. 122.

«Os nossos jovens cristãos, de ares finos e fala fluente, lêem a poesia e os contos dos Árabes, estudam os textos dos teólogos e filósofos maometanos, não para os contestarem, mas para aprenderem a exprimir-se em árabe com maior correcção e elegância. […]
Onde podemos encontrar hoje um leigo que leia os comentários em latim às Sagradas Escrituras? […] Todos os jovens cristãos notados pelos seus dotes conhecem apenas a língua e a literatura dos Árabes, construindo grandes bibliotecas, muito dispendiosas e proclamando em voz alta, por toda a parte, que esta literatura é digna de admiração».

– ÁLVARO (CRISTÃO DE 854 D.C., CÓRDOVA), INDICULUS LUMINOSUS, § 35.

«O árabe em Espanha sucede imediatamente ao antigo: a arte de uma civilização em que todo o deleite e toda a geometria tomam forma humana é substituída por uma arte que se esgota na modelação de linhas que se estendem, se enlaçam, se acariciam sem outro sentido que elas próprias, música abstracta, meditação matemática eterna.
Em Córdova, foco de cultura alimentado pelo fervor muçulmano, a subtileza hebraica e certos conceitos helénicos filtrados pelo alambique do pensamento árabe, esse povo de alquimistas, de algebristas e de astrónomos, atinge na mesquita a mais total das transmutações, a mais complexa das equações, o equivalente perfeito das secretas cogitações de um Averróis ou de um Avicena. Estas harmonias surdas são as das esferas…»

– MARGUERITE YOURCENAR, CITADA EM ADALBERTO ALVES, “O MEU CORAÇÃO É ÁRABE”, P. 30.

«É algo muito antigo e deveras remoto para o futuro, a noção de retorno ao que o Islão era no tempo do Profeta, mas também o avanço em direcção a um ponto longínquo e luminoso onde seria possível renovar a fidelidade mais do que manter a obediência. No encalço deste ideal, a descrença no legalismo parecia-me ser essencial, acompanhada de fé na criatividade do Islão».

– MICHEL FOUCAULT, “WHAT ARE THE IRANIANS DREAMING ABOUT?”.

«Os ingleses, os turcos, o mundo inteiro despreza-os; mas é como se os árabes, insolentes e risonhos, saltassem para fora da vergonha e captassem o reflexo da Visão, da Beleza. Eles trazem ao mundo uma estranha liberdade, onde a glória e a vergonha entram num corpo-a-corpo quase espiritual».

– DELEUZE, CRÍTICA E CLÍNICA, P. 168.

«Há, em primeiro lugar, a luz, mas esta luz não é ainda percepcionada. Ela é antes o transparente puro, invisível, incolor, informe, intocável. Ela é a Ideia, o Deus dos árabes. Mas a Ideia, ou o abstracto, não tem transcendência. A Ideia estende-se através do espaço, é como o Aberto […]. A luz é a abertura que faz o espaço».

– DELEUZE, CRÍTICA E CLÍNICA, P. 156.

«Os Árabes […] eram corpos estrangeiros (pérolas, se quiserdes) no interior da ostra: e aqueles que estavam presentes controlavam por influência e aviso, pela sua ciência superior, e não por uma autoridade extrínseca».

– T. E. LAWRENCE, “SCIENCE OF GUERRILLA WARFARE” (1929).

«Mas suponha-se que eles eram uma influência, algo invulnerável, intangível, sem frente nem retaguarda, deslocando-se como um gás? […] Os Árabes podiam ser um vapor, soprando […]. A desordem máxima era, num sentido real, o seu equilíbrio».

– T. E. LAWRENCE, “SCIENCE OF GUERRILLA WARFARE” (1929).

«Esta não é uma especulação pessoal. Corresponde antes ao saber de tradições antigas. […] Esta especial força magnética induzida tem por contrapartida psicológica o estado de vibração, de excitação difusa e de desejo próprios do eros humano. A intervenção deste estado dá origem a uma primeira deslocação do nível habitual da consciência individual da vigília. […] Uma concepção deste género fez, de resto, parte de uma teoria do amor professada no Ocidente até cerca do período da Renascença embora também fosse conhecida por outras civilizações, em especial pela islâmica. Encontrámo-la, por exemplo, exposta não só por Avicena, como também por Marsilio Ficino e Della Porta».

– EVOLA, A METAFÍSICA DO SEXO, p. 41-43.

«A expressão fat’hul-qalb (abertura ou descerramento do coração) pertence ao esoterismo islâmico tal como a de “luz do coração”. […] Será assim possível estabelecer-se uma relação entre esta condição, já em certa medida desindividualizante, do afrouxamento do vínculo do coração, e a experiência de novidade e quase que de uma transfiguração fresca e activa do mundo, que, como já dissemos, acompanha o estado de amor: seria possível ver nela como que um esboço daquilo que, no sufismo, se denomina, justamente, a percepção do mundo com os olhos do coração, ayn-el-qalb»

– EVOLA, A METAFÍSICA DO SEXO, p. 119.

«Encontrara um velho exemplar da segunda parte do Hajji Baba e estava a lê-lo em voz alta. (…) Podia sentir nas situações do livro certa parcela do antigo deleite persa na vida corpórea, como distinta da vida intelectual e espiritual. (…) Pobres persas que ficavam à mercê dos mecanismos e da lógica do mundo ocidental! (…)
Atingia um enorme grau de divertimento quando Hajji proferia em voz alta as suas catilinárias aflitivas a respeito dos rostos não velados das inglesas. Ah! se ao menos aquelas huris tivessem as caras tapadas, que fogo de paixão inflamaria o físico imponente do persa! Mas a crua e indecente nudez do semblante exposto era um balde de água fria no ardor de Hajji e repugnava-o. Oh, se ao menos em Londres as mulheres tapassem o rosto com um simples lencinho, que adoráveis seriam! Mas nenhum homem, nenhum, poderia sobreviver ao aspecto cruamente monótono dos rostos nus de infindáveis mulheres. Em Hajji não ficara nem a mais leve centelha de desejo. (…)
– Não pensas que o Hajji tem razão? – perguntou ela. – Não achas que as caras das pessoas são na verdade a parte pior que têm? (…) São como relógios, que apontam as horas dos seus pensamentos pessoais, batem as horas daquilo que sentem. Detesto caras. São tantos os rostos, mas, embora de várias formas e feitios, todos eles mostram mais ou menos as mesmas horas, tal como os relógios. (…) Sentem com uma tal monotonia, embora pretendam disfarçá-lo, queiram dar o ar de que são coisas de interesse, profundas, como relógios a marcarem uma hora errada. Estou cansada das caras das pessoas. Desejaria que houvesse uma lei que obrigasse a velá-las, como as maometanas. Se tapassem os rostos não me importaria nada que exibissem tudo o resto nu… com a condição de não se lhes verem as caras.»

– D. H. LAWRENCE, JOHN THOMAS & LADY JANE.

Sónia não é nome próprio

«A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book»

– Irish proverb.

 

«Quilt» – Barry Maguire

 

«Sleeping Spinner» – Courbet

 

«Sleeping Gypsy» – Rousseau

 

«Sleeping Maid» – Vermeer

 

«Sleeping Peasants» – Picasso

 

«Sleeping Through» – Derek Albeck

«Forgetfulness» (e outros poemas) de Billy Collins

Forgetfulness 

The name of the author is the first to go
followed obediently by the title, the plot,
the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel
which suddenly becomes one you have never read,
never even heard of,

as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor
decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain,
to a little fishing village where there are no phones.

Long ago you kissed the names of the nine Muses goodbye
and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag,
and even now as you memorize the order of the planets,

something else is slipping away, a state flower perhaps,
the address of an uncle, the capital of Paraguay.

Whatever it is you are struggling to remember,
it is not poised on the tip of your tongue,
not even lurking in some obscure corner of your spleen.

It has floated away down a dark mythological river
whose name begins with an L as far as you can recall,
well on your own way to oblivion where you will join those
who have even forgotten how to swim and how to ride a bicycle.

No wonder you rise in the middle of the night
to look up the date of a famous battle in a book on war.
No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted
out of a love poem that you used to know by heart.

Billy Collins