Think of the labyrinthine corridors of your own heart and mind. Think of the tricks, evasions, and rationalizations that you sell to yourself. And then try to imagine that you could begin to know the heart or mind of someone else.
And our silent house is listening
To the last sounds of people going home.
We lie beside our curtained window
What makes them do it.
Ian Hamilton, Collected Poems (Faber and Faber 2009).
From the bay windows
Of the mouldering hotel across the road from us
Mysterious, one-night itinerants emerge
On to their balconies
To breathe the cool night air.
We let them stare
In at our quiet lives.
They let us wonder what's become of them.
Ian Hamilton, Ibid.
In the dark, from afar, two strangers talk.
We cannot understand a word they say.
Yet there is meaning in the rise and the fall.
At length, a bitter dispute is settled.
We can at last sleep a peaceful sleep.
But don't be surprised at a plaint in the night --
In another language, or in no language at all --
From afar, and out of the dark, out of the dark.