Swifter Than Reason: The Poetry and Criticism of Robert Graves

Swifter Than Reason: The Poetry and Criticism of Robert Graves

Swifter Than Reason: The Poetry and Criticism of Robert Graves

Swifter Than Reason: The Poetry and Criticism of Robert Graves

Excerpt

You, reading over my shoulder, peering beneath
My writing arm -- I suddenly feel your breath
Hot on my hand or on my nape,
So interrupt my theme, scratching these few
Words on the margin for you, namely you,
Too-human shape fixed in that shape: --

All the saying of things against myself
And for myself I have done well myself.
What now, old enemy, shall you do
But quote and underline, thrusting yourself
Against me, as ambassador of myself,
In damned confusion of myself and you?

For you in strutting, you in sycophancy,
Have played too long this other self of me,
Doubling the part of judge and patron
With that creaking grind-stone to my wit.
Know me, have done; I am a proud spirit
And you forever clay. Have done.

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