George Moore

In speaking of ‘aspiration,’
From the recesses of a pen more dolorous than blackness
Were you presenting us with one more form of imperturbable
French drollery,
Or was it self directed banter?
Habitual ennui
Took from you, your invisible, hot helmet of anaemia—
While you were filling your “little glass” from the
Of a transparent-murky, would-be-truthful “hobohemia”—
And then facetiously
Went off with it? Your soul’s supplanter,
The spirit of good narrative, flatters you, convinced that
in reporting briefly
One choice incident, you have known beauty other than that
of stys, on
Which to fix your admiration.

So far as the future is concerned,
“Shall not one say, with the Russian philosopher,
‘How is one to know what one doesn’t know?’”
So far as the present is concerned,

If external action is effete
And rhyme is outmoded,
I shall revert to you,
Habakkuk, as on a recent occasion I was goaded
Into doing, by XY, who was speaking of unrhymed
This man said—I think that I repeat
His identical words:
“Hebrew poetry is
Prose with a sort of heightened consciousness. ‘Ecstacy
The occasion and expediency determines the form.’”


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