Gestures to the Dead - Part 4

The stars and planets weary of ether wind
and weary of their own, their endless song.
Their praise of heaven thrills not as when it rolled
forth when the sky was young, ere Ezra Pound
proclaimed: Pianos are percussion instruments.
And can poets hunger for the wind no longer
as hungered spirits, gone a different way?
Shelley, who was too much like thee, O Wind.
The pard-like spirit, who said that he was pard-like.
Spirits who did not call themselves bad names
in public print, as T. S. Eliot did:
Classicist, Royalist, Anglo-Catholic,
long names for the four letter word, a snob.
Why, when a writer totters out of fashion
are we reminded how his life is sad?

Cossacks of criticism, aesthetic bloodhounds:
All life is sad. Welcome the evil fortunes
of sad dressmakers for the soul in mourning.
They are glad portents of Furies and the Muses.
Let pity be confined to boarding-schools
where, by the Church's discipline, small boys
are turned to beautifully deformed bond salesmen.
(Did ever a nation's manhood all turn pimps?)
Were ever a nation's poets made great by pity?
Pity is foreign to the love of truth.
Let bondsmen pity them, who, in young manhood
criticise critics of criticism
and edit critics, methodologically.
And I, who wasted all my early youth
by talking about God to older women
once pondered long upon American critics!
Then pity me, and hear the truths I learned:
The coral aisles of art have shifting sand-bars.
Do editors think sand-bars terra firma ?

Deep in his soul a good man, slowly wise
felt the devouring need to edit something.
During his pilgrimage through Humanism,
gazing, by the lagoon, on his moustache
he met a sight, more dignified in his eyes
than in the eyes of the undignified
who play in the surf and clamber cliffs beyond
Gorham B. Munson, a second Parsifal.

Nietzsche said Carmen was the greatest opera.
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