The Poet

The riches of the poet are equal to his poetry
His power is his left hand
It is idle weak and precious
His poverty is his wealth, a wealth which may destroy him
like Midas Because it is that laziness which is a form of impatience
And this he may be destroyed by the gold of the light
which never was
On land or sea.
He may be drunken to death, draining the casks of excess
That extreme form of success.
He may suffer Narcissus' destiny
Unable to live except with the image which is infatuation


The Planet On The Table

Ariel was glad he had written his poems.
They were of a remembered time
Or of something seen that he liked.

Other makings of the sun
Were waste and welter
And the ripe shrub writhed.

His self and the sun were one
And his poems, although makings of his self,
Were no less makings of the sun.

It was not important that they survive.
What mattered was that they should bear
Some lineament or character,

Some affluence, if only half-perceived,
In the poverty of their words,


The Minstrel or, The Progress of Genius excerpts

THE FIRST BOOK (excerpts)

Ah! who can tell how hard it is to climb
The steep where Fame's proud temple shines afar!
Ah! who can tell how many a soul sublime
Hath felt the influence of malignant star,
And wag'd with Fortune an eternal war!
Check'd by the scoff of Pride, by Envy's frown,
And Poverty's unconquerable bar,
In life's low vale remote hath pin'd alone
Then dropt into the grave, unpitied and unknown!

And yet, the languor of inglorious days
Not equally oppressive is to all.


The Law of Death

The song of Kilvani: fairest she
In all the land of Savatthi.
She had one child, as sweet and gay
And dear to her as the light of day.
She was so young, and he so fair,
The same bright eyes and the same dark hair;
To see them by the blossomy way,
They seemed two children at their play.

There came a death-dart from the sky,
Kilvani saw her darling die.
The glimmering shade his eyes invades,
Out of his cheek the red bloom fades;
His warm heart feels the icy chill,


The Last of The Flock

I

In distant countries have I been,
And yet I have not often seen
A healthy man, a man full grown,
Weep in the public roads, alone.
But such a one, on English ground,
And in the broad highway, I met;
Along the broad highway he came,
His cheeks with tears were wet:
Sturdy he seemed, though he was sad;
And in his arms a Lamb he had.

II

He saw me, and he turned aside,
As if he wished himself to hide:
And with his coat did then essay
To wipe those briny tears away.


The Heavenly Jerusalem

Here may the band, that now in triumph shines,
And that (before they were invested thus)
In earthly bodies carried heavenly minds,
Pitched round about in order glorious,
Their sunny tents, and houses luminous,
All their eternal day in songs employing,
Joying their end, without end of their joying,
While their almighty prince destruction is destroying.

How can such joy as this want words to speak?
And yet what words can speak such joy as this?
Far from the world, that might their quiet break,


The Harvest

Sun on the mountain,
Shade in the valley,
Ripple and lightness
Leaping along the world,
Sun, like a gold sword
Plucked from the scabbard,
Striking the wheat-fields,
Splendid and lusty,
Close-standing, full-headed,
Toppling with plenty;
Shade, like a buckler
Kindly and ample,
Sweeping the wheat-fields
Darkening and tossing;
There on the world-rim
Winds break and gather
Heaping the mist
For the pyre of the sunset;
And still as a shadow,
In the dim westward,


The Hangman's Great Hands

And all that is this day. . .
The boy with cap slung over what had been a face. ..

Somehow the cop will sleep tonight, will make love to his
wife...
Anger won't help. I was born angry. Angry that my father was
being burnt alive in the mills; Angry that none of us knew
anything but filth, and poverty. Angry because I was that very
one somebody was supposed To be fighting for
Turn him over; take a good look at his face...
Somebody is going to see that face for a long time.


The Genius Of The Crowd

there is enough treachery, hatred violence absurdity in the average
human being to supply any given army on any given day

and the best at murder are those who preach against it
and the best at hate are those who preach love
and the best at war finally are those who preach peace

those who preach god, need god
those who preach peace do not have peace
those who preach peace do not have love

beware the preachers
beware the knowers
beware those who are always reading books


The Four Ages of Man

1.1 Lo now! four other acts upon the stage,
1.2 Childhood, and Youth, the Manly, and Old-age.
1.3 The first: son unto Phlegm, grand-child to water,
1.4 Unstable, supple, moist, and cold's his Nature.
1.5 The second: frolic claims his pedigree;
1.6 From blood and air, for hot and moist is he.
1.7 The third of fire and choler is compos'd,
1.8 Vindicative, and quarrelsome dispos'd.
1.9 The last, of earth and heavy melancholy,
1.10 Solid, hating all lightness, and all folly.


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