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.
Some kinder casuists are pleased to say, In nameless print—that I have no devotion; But set those persons down with me to pray, And you shall see who has the properest notion Of getting into heaven the shortest way; My altars are the mountains and the ocean, Earth, air, stars,—all that springs from the great Whole, Who hath produced, and will receive the soul.
For she was a child, throwing bread to the ducks, between her parents, and at the same time a grown woman coming to her parents who stood by the lake, holding her life in her arms which, as she neared them, grew larger and larger in her arms, until it became a whole life, a complete life, which she put down by them and said, “This is what I have made of it! This!” And what had she made of it? What, indeed?
Since once I sat upon a promontory, And heard a mermaid on a dolphin’s back Uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath That the rude sea grew civil at her song And certain stars shot madly from their spheres, To hear the sea-maid’s music.
Why, as I told thee, ’tis a custom with him, I’ th’ afternoon to sleep: there thou mayst brain him, Having first seized his books, or with a log Batter his skull, or paunch him with a stake, Or cut his wezand with thy knife. Remember First to possess his books; for without them He’s but a sot, as I am, nor hath not One spirit to command: they all do hate him As rootedly as I. Burn but his books.
She began to go slowly upstairs, with her hand on the bannisters, as if she had left a party, where now this friend now that had flashed back her face, her voice; had shut the door and gone out and stood alone, a single figure against the appalling night, or rather, to be accurate, against the stare of this matter-of-fact June morning; soft with the glow of rose petals for some, she knew, and felt it, as she paused by the open staircase window which let in blinds flapping, dogs barking, let in, she thought, feeling herself suddenly shrivelled, aged, breastless, the grinding, blowing, flowering of the day, out of doors, out of the window, out of her body and brain which now failed, since Lady Bruton, whose lunch parties were said to be extraordinarily amusing, had not asked her.