If you tasted it, it would first taste bitter,
then briny, then surely burn your tongue.
It is like what we imagine knowledge to be:
dark, salt, clear, moving, utterly free,
drawn from the cold hard mouth
of the world, derived from the rocky breasts
forever, flowing and drawn, and since
our knowledge is historical, flowing, and flown.
The Helmsman: An Ode
The voyage of the soul is simply
Through age to wisdom;
But wisdom, if it comes,
Comes like the ripening gleam of wheat,
Nourished by comfort, care, rain, sunlight,
And briefly shining
On windy and hot days,
Flashing like snakes underneath the haze.
But this, a memory of childhood,
Of loves forgotten,
And they who gave are still,
Gone now, irrevocable, undone.
O Penury, steadied to thy will,
I tread my own path,
Though Self-Respect, discreet,
Plucks at my arm as I pass down street:-
Querulous and pert! They tell in story
That for proud Ajax,
Teucer set forth from his friends and kin;