Suspicion like the earth is hard
And like the earth opposes
Dense fact to the doubtable:
Which therefore like the air surrenders
Semblance to the bolder sights.
I have surrendered place
To many solid miles of brain-rote,
To the just so many matters and no more
That reason, grudging prodigal,
Allows numerous, consecutive.
Even in my own mind I have stood last,
An airy exile, nothing, nowhere,
My eyes obeying laws of circumspection
By which myself shone fanciful
In lurid never:
Because that had been so, I not.
But as time learns a boredom,
Loathes the determinate succession,
Irks with uncalendared event
And brings surprise to be,
The natural conscience snapped in me—
And lo! I was; I am.
Elastic logic thinning
Grows delicate to marvels.
Fine argument at finest disembroils
The ravelled choking maze of caution.
The sudden of the slow is bred,
The curious of the common.
Into the sceptic fog that mists
Infraction from the chronic rule
Stumbles intelligence a-rage
To find the unthought wanton thought
And, self-confounding, think it.
My life, with other lives a world,
With other ways of being a coiled nature,
Springs separate: I am personified,
Of being caught in that pressed confluence
And proven look-substantial,
Yet strange to the familiar soul
In fellowed course entwined.
Acquaintance marks out unacquaintance.
Usage had bound of mystery.
The continents of vision view
A further which grows spatial
From lying next, in dark increase
Of the gregarious light with which
Compacting sense embraces straggling all.
…So have I lived,
Approaching rhythms of old circumstance
To the perilous margin, moment.
And struck the string which breaks at sounding,
Taken the tremorless note to mouth,
And spoken sound’s inversion,
Like a statue moved with stillness.
This is that latest all-risk:
An I which mine is for the courage
No other to be, if not danger’s self.
Nor did I other become, others,
In braving all-risk with hushed step,
Mind rattling veteran armouries.
If this be I.
If words from earthly durance loosed
To earthly right of meaning
Cannot belie their wisdoming,
The doubt-schooled care that bent back sense
From skyish startle, faith’s delirium.
If I my words am,
If the footed head which frowns them
And the handed heart which smiles them
Are the very writing, table, chair,
The paper, pen, self, taut community
Wherein enigma’s orb is word-constrained.
Does myself upon the page meet,
Does the thronging firm a name
To nod my own—witnessing
I write or am this, it is written?
What thinks the world?
Has here the time-eclipsed occasion
Or does the world demand,
And what think I?
The world in me which fleet to disavow
Ordains perpetual reiteration?
And these the words ensuing.