They told me
understanding was not beauty.

Heedless, I conflated
knowing with feeling,
as if having more of one
could show me more of the other.

But every time I thought I knew something,
its beauty vanished, and all I could feel was

Thus went
old fantasy novels set in rich worlds,
fresh eggs sputtering on a pan,
the first breeze atop a summit,
brisk Autumn apples,
soft laughter.

Curiosity soon followed,
then without curiosity, discovery,
without discovery, understanding itself.

I pondered for a while,
asked myself,
"What use is knowing
if you can't appreciate it?"

but I didn't know the answer.

--perhaps I exaggerate.
(It's easy to get lifted by delicate idea-wings,
you know.)

Maybe I see a pattern
where none exists
and the only relation between
understanding and beauty
is this one I have imposed.

Or maybe,
unlike Romantics
I do not eschew learning
and unlike the Enlightened,
I do not distrust raw sublimity.

For now I understand that
I do not wish to understand
nor see beauty in
everything I understand.

And in this thought, I find