xii

These days are misty, insulated, mute
Like a faded tapestry and the soft pedal
Is down and the yellow leaves are falling down
And we hardly have the heart to meddle
Any more with personal ethics or public calls;
People have not recovered from the crisis,
Their faces are far away, the tone of the words
Belies their thesis.
For they say that now it is time unequivocally to act,
To let the pawns be taken,
That criticism, a virtue previously,
Now can only weaken
And that when we go to Rome We must do as the Romans do, cry out together
For bread and circuses; put on your togas now
For this is Roman weather.
Circuses of death and from the topmost tiers
A cataract of goggling, roaring faces;
On the arena sand
Those who are about to die try out their paces.
Now it is night, a cold mist creeps, the night
Is still and damp and lonely;

-47-

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Autumn Journal: A Poem
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 5
  • Note 7
  • I 9
  • II 13
  • III 16
  • IV 22
  • VI 26
  • VII 30
  • VIII 33
  • IX 37
  • X 40
  • XI 44
  • XII 47
  • XIII 50
  • XIV 54
  • XV 57
  • XVI 61
  • XVII 66
  • XVIII 70
  • XIX 75
  • XX 78
  • XXI 81
  • XXII 85
  • XXIII 89
  • XXIV 93
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