The spire cranes; its statue
Is an aviary,
And from the nest
Of stone not straw
He does not let the nightingales
Blunt their tawny necks on rock,
Or pierce the sky with diving –
So wing in weed
And foot an inch in froth.
Yesterday, the cherry sun
Hung in its space until the steel string snapped,
The voice lost edge,
And the guitar was put away,
Dropping from the window
Into the paper sea,
A silver dog, a gypsy’s hoop.
Who is to may
My lying long,
Or blow away its grains,
Across my lover’s sandy bed,
Sick at the coming close,
Yet iron-white and loth to part,
Ascetic, letting the hand loll
Upon my sybarite’s strong calf?
Further information: This has a similar style to notebook four, poem’ Twenty-Nine’, an early version of ‘We lying by seasand’.
Although through my bewildered way
Of crying off this unshaped evil,
Death to the magical when all is done,
Age come to you – you’re bright and useless,
Soon to my care, my love,
But soon to die.
It is the wrong, the hurt, the mineral,
That makes its stroke
Through wisdom, for my age,
And sin, for my two-headed joy –
The particles aren’t more than dust,
And whose affections aren’t corrupt?
They are the only dead that did not love,
Lipless and tongueless in the sour earth
Staring at the others, poor uncovers.
They are the only living who did love,
So are we full with strength,
Ready to rise, easy to sleep.
There was one world and there is another,
For in our life we’re dead as wood,
No bones or blood,
Out of a wooden mother,
And in our death learning such truth
AS thought and told
That wood shall rot, but wood shan’t rot.
Why is the blood red and the grass green
Shan’t be answered till the voice is still
That drieth the veins with its moan
Of man and his meaning, for the voice is cruel
That drouth the veins from the vines
And the blood from the high hills.
Further information: Like notebook 3, number ‘thirty-seven’ (which was to become ‘Why the East Wind Chills’) the theme of this poem is unanswerable questions.
There’s plenty in the world that doth not die,
And much that lives to perish,
That rises and then falls, buds but to wither;
The season’s son, though he should know his setting
Up to the second of the dark coming,
Death sights and sees with no misgiving
A rib of cancer on the fluid sky.
This time took has much
In breath and width with that
Old other known as pressure,
For it’s love one word or not,
Though call it god and hurt me,
Heat and offend the widow,
Each to his separate lesson
To mould, alone, masonic reason.
Which of you put out his rising,
And turned his flame into a blind wick,
Of you pale-minded virgins which took down your trees
Onto his lifted face, who is so pitiless,
Can wipe away the thought of passion like a crumb.
Server from what I trust
The things, this time, I love,
Death and the shy entanglement of sense
Crying for age to bless its sad sobriety.
Further information: This poem was ‘lost and then found’, which is why it is out of sequence. At the Humanities Research Centre in Texas, there is an early version of this poem (29 April 1931) written in a copy of Osbert Sitwell’s Argonauts.
Take up this seed, it is most beautiful,
Within its husk opening in fire and air
Into a flower’s stem and a flower’s mouth,
To lean upon the wall of summer
And touch the lips of the dark wind.
It’s not in misery but in oblivion,
Not vertically in a mood of joy
Screaming the spring
Over the ancient winter,
He’ll lie down, and our breath
Will chill the roundness of his cheeks,
And make his wide mouth home.
Further information: This poem is out of sequence.
What lunatic’s whored after shadow,
Followed the full-voiced stream
To stoop and fast it vinegar,
Can find the body anything but shade,
That, too, wet with tears,
And anything but acid the clear water?
Any matter move it to conclusion
Begs for a refuge with the bone
So any talk carefree as words can
Down in the sweet-smelling earth
Takes start and end into the warmth
All argument speaker not a nickel’s worth.
Further information: This poem does not include commas.