PRINT October 1974

Incisions in History/Segments of Eternity

Time cuts down All,

Both Great and Small.

—The Bay State Primer
, c. 1800

Time is not, Time is the evil, beloved

—Ezra Pound, Canto LXXIV

HERE ARE SOME HAND-TINTED snapshots of myself, talking with a tall young woman at an imaginary party:

Time out of mind, I find myself seized, at one and the same moment, by a fit of obstreperousness and a female historian. Reasoning, more from circumstance than tradition, that all men, by their nature, desire to know, I desire of her to know just what history is, anyhow.

“Near as I can make out,” she allows, “it’s just one god damned thing after another.”

I put on a reasonable face. “Come now,” I venture, “what about cause and effect?”

“Take your choice,” she says.

“Come again?” I choke.

“Cause or effect: take your choice. Right now, during the Historical Period, causes seem to be inbreeding among themselves, engendering more of their own kind. Later on, perhaps,

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