Magazine article World Literature Today

Ex-Voto

Magazine article World Literature Today

Ex-Voto

Article excerpt

To the Pursuit, "more than the capture,"

To Figures, to Law, to Founders,

To Virtues, poem of honor,

To the lack of Love, poem of truth,

To Fright, poem of being,

To Eros, who does not lie,

To Seneca, to solitudes, to wisdoms,

To Tiredness, a delight following illusion,

To smile, poem of kindness,

To Solomon, the lustful, the plentiful, the Just,

To Siena, to Dante, to She-wolves,

To Despair, to Fear, to the Worst,

To the beauties of ignorance, to the incomprehensibleness of causes,

To Beauty, for what it "saves,"

To Socrates, for the portrait of Eros hunting, and the enormous pride in not telling,

To insults, a pain that nourishes,

To Spinoza, thrice banished,

To the Graces, the incalculableness of gift,

To Pontévia, who could follow everything,

To Jean-Marie Dubourdieu, known as "Gavroche," for making his life into a game,

To Tobacco, a perfect Indian poison,

To Light and noise, to real Unknownness, to the Flesh,

To the wretchedness of Being, also Luck,

To the beauties of Vices,

To ignorant Youth,

To Max, the beggar, brotherhood,

To truths that hurt,

To the Scythe,

To François des Loges, de Montcorbier, de Coquille,

To the Rams of the Heavens, justly named Powers,

To Wine, poem of enlargement; to Khayyam, its just saint,

To cursings, stubborn heads, clear heads,

To Wagering, to Brilliancies, to Tears,

To Cities, poems of inhabitation,

To Images, for their redeeming of crimes,

To Defeat, poem of lucid distress,

To Greetings - but let them burn hot! …

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