For poetry makes nothing happen: it survives In the valley of its making where executives Would never want to tamper, flows on south From ranches of isolation and the busy griefs, Raw towns that we believe and die in; it survives, A way of happening, a mouth.
And ruled by dead men never met,
By pious guess deluded,
Upon the stool of madness set
Or stool of desolation,
Sits murderous and clear-headed;
Enormous beauties round him move,
For grandiose is his vision
And grandiose his love.
H. Fuseli – The Nightmare
If I can’t, in spite of all my painstaking art,
Carve a Moon of silver for your Pedestal,
I shall put the Serpent which is eating my heart
Under your heels, so that you may trample and mock,
Triumphant queen, fecund in redemptions,
That monster all swollen with hatred and spittle.
[Si je ne puis, malgré tout mon art diligent
Pour Marchepied tailler une Lune d’argent
Je mettrai le Serpent qui me mord les entrailles
Sous tes talons, afin que tu foules et railles
Reine victorieuse et féconde en rachats
Ce monstre tout gonflé de haine et de crachats.]
O. Redon – Onnes (Christ and the Serpent)
Have you reckon’d a thousand acres much?
Have you reckon’d the earth much?
Have you practis’d so long to learn to read?
Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems?
G. F. Watts – Happy Warrior
Oh! who young Leila’s glance could read
And keep that portion of his creed
Which saith that woman is but dust,
A soulless toy for tyrant’s lust?
In times of old when Nature in her glad excess
Brought forth such living marvels as no more are seen,
I should have loved to dwell with a young giantess,
Like a voluptuous cat about the feet of a queen;
You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor
look through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the
spectres in books,
You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things
You shall listen to all sides and filter them from your self.