Stock of appearances - Francis Ponge

"The sea, until she nears her limits, is a simple thing, repeating herself wave by wave. But you cannot approach the simplest things in nature without a good many formalities, the thickest things without a bit of thinning out. This - and also because he resents their oppressive immensity - is why man rushes to the edges or the intersections of the great things he wishes to define. For reason, plunged in the bosom of uniformity, gets perilously tossed about and runs into short supply: a mind in search of concepts must, to begin with, lay in stock of appearances."

Francis Ponge, Seashores 1942, trans. Margaret Guiton, in Selected Poems.

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