The Microscope of Potency

The above title is a reference to the fact that I just returned from my latest appointment with the retinal specialist (for a full explanation of the allusion, see the bottom portion of this post).

The good news is that I seem to have graduated from the School of Eyeball Injections. My condition (wet macular degeneration) has stabilized to the point where, although I will continue to have periodic appointments for scanning and monitoring, I will no longer have to have a needle stuck into my eye every visit. Absent a new vascular eruption, I will only have to endure pupil dilation and the flashing lights of the scanner. No more needles! A real bonus.

Readers who don’t enjoy modern poetry may not want to click below the fold, where I’ve reproduced a poem by Wallace Stevens entitled “Mountains Covered With Cats”. When you read it, the meaning of the title of this post will become clear.*

Mountains Covered With Cats
by Wallace Stevens

The sea full of fishes in shoals, the woods that let
One seed alone grow wild, the railway-stops
In Russia at which the same statue of Stalin greets
The same railway passenger, the ancient tree
In the center of it comes, the resplendent flights
Of red facsimiles through related trees,
White houses in villages, black communicants —
The catalogue is too commodious.

Regard the invalid personality
Instead, outcast, without the will to power
And impotent, like the imagination or like
War’s miracle begetting that of peace.

Freud’s eye was the microscope of potency.
By fortune, his gray ghost may meditate
The spirits of all the impotent dead, seen clear,
And quickly understand, without their flesh,
How truly they had not been what they were.

* Yes, that really is a photo of Sigmund Freud’s eye.

3 thoughts on “The Microscope of Potency

  1. Whoo, no more needles, at least not every time? Well, that’s a measurable improvement – very good news indeed!

    • I can’t imagine! (for those unacquainted with historic aircraft, the ‘plane on the album cover is a Messerschmitt 262, the world’s first operational jet. You’re welcome!)

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